Is it possible that a theater in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin, could have been the country's first great movie palace?
The exquisite theater, was built by circus impresario and local resident, Al Ringling, as a thank-you to the town that had always supported him. It was designed in 1915 by Chicago architects C.W. and George Rapp, and is a masterpiece in the style of the great French opera houses.
But at the time Baraboo had a population of less than a thousand.
Why was such an ornate theater erected in such an obscure location, and how has it stayed relevant throughout the years?
The History Detectives enlist the help of the Theatre Historical Society of America to solve the mystery of this grand edifice.
- Also in Season 1 Lafitte's Spyglass Did this spyglass really belong to a fearless cutthroat pirate?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Coney Island Lions Could this be an artifact from the bygone days of early amusement parks?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Fiery Cross What is the story behind this record?
- Also with Gwen Wright Calhoun Books Are these the books of the famed intellectual architect of the Confederacy?
- Also with Gwen Wright Alcoholics Anonymous Letter Is this letter proof of one man's contribution to this secretive society?
- Also with Gwen Wright Leopold Medal What does this medal reveal about a top-secret American Military project during WWII?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.