Wausau Theatre

326 N. 3rd Street,
Wausau, WI 54403

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Saxe Amusement Enterprises

Architects: Irving A. Obel, William Oppenhamer

Firms: Oppenhamer & Obel

Styles: French Renaissance

Previous Names: Stuart Theatre

Nearby Theaters

WAUSAU Theatre; Wausau, Wisconsin.

The Stuart Theatre was opened January 1, 1920 with 1,197 seats. It was decorated in a Franch Renaissance style and was equipped with a Bartola pipe organ. It was taken over by Saxe in 1926 and they hire architectural firm Openhamer & Opal to renovate the theatre. It reopened on September 4, 1926 as the Wausau Theatre with Mary Pickford in “Sparrows”. The Bartola pipe organ had been replaced by a Barton organ.

It was taken over by the Fox Wisconsin Circuit in 1929 and was closed on July 28, 1960 with Paul Newman in “From the Terrace”. It was converted into a Woolworth store.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm

326-330 N. 3rd Street is now occupied by a postmodern building housing a residential condominium called The Palladian, built in 2007-2008. The first Wausau Theatre has been demolished.

DavidZornig on October 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm

August 1955 photo added credit Sharon Morehead‎.

dallasmovietheaters on October 9, 2018 at 10:15 am

The Stuart Theatre launched January 1, 1920 with 1,197 seats and a Bartola pipe organ to entertain the crowds. Roy Cummings Entertainment Circuit’s French-themed theater was a crowd pleaser. But when the Saxe Circuit bought the venue in 1926, they hired architects Openhamer and Opal to do a major renovation of the theatre.

Relaunching as the Wausau Theatre, the movie “Sparrows” was the opening feature on September 4, 1926 and was the film’s first showing after its premiere at Grauman’s Egyptian theatre in Hollywood. Audiences were said to approve of the Golden Voiced Barton Theatre Organ.

Under Fox operation in 1929, the theatre switched to Western Electric sound technology to show talkies. After the second twenty year lease was up, Fox walked away from the location and it closing with “From the Terrace” on July 28, 1960. The theatre became the new home of the relocated F.W. Woolworth five and dime variety store.

Keith La Vake refurbished the former Hollywood Theatre location and reused the Wausau Theatre moniker in its new location beginning on August 31, 1960 in its grand opening with “Bambi.”

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