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 with Elyse Luray Blueprint Special Did this record play a dramatic role in the Allied victory during the Second World War?
- Also with Elyse Luray GAR Photograph How did two African Americans come to be part of this photograph in Reconstructionist-era America?
- Also with Gwen Wright Face Jug What does this ceramic face reveal about the Middle Passage and a captive people’s search for identity?
- Related Investigation Connecticut Farmhouse Why did this Connecticut farmhouse have so many owners in such a short space of time?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Luxury Liner Picture Frame Is this picture frame a piece of the Titanic, Lusitania or neither?
- Also in Season 1 Revolutionary War Poem How did this poem, written by an American prisoner in England in 1780 end up in Oregon 200 years later?
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.