La Crosse Theatre

115 5th Avenue S.,
La Crosse, WI 54601

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Additional Info

Previous Names: New Opera House

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La Crosse Theatre

The La Crosse Theatre opened in 1900 but the La Crosse Tribune noted there was an opera house on the 3rd floor dating back to 1867. In 1889 a ground floor theater was built and Sanborn Maps 1891 show it as the New Opera House. Primarily a playhouse, it was the first theatre in La Crosse to show an early form of moving pictures. Serving as both a picture house and playhouse, the 900-seat theatre closed in 1927 and in 1930 the Hoeschler Building opened on the site.

The La Crosse Theatre was among a group of early theatres remembered in the Tribune on February 24, 1935. The Bijou Theatre (113 3rd Avenue S.) is credited as the first real motion picture theatre, showing a reel before and a reel after vaudeville acts. The second theatre to be opened as a straight picture house was the Unique Theatre (112 3rd Avenue S.).

Theaters that came later were the Dome Theatre (815 Rose Street), Dreamland Theatre (1202 Caledonia Street), Lyric Theatre (318 Main Street), New Electric Theatre (125 4th Avenue S.), and Star Theatre (225 Main Street).

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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