Historic: Temple Theatre Restoration

Viroqua, WI

The Temple Theatre sits proudly on Main Street in downtown Viroqua and is a classically designed combination vaudeville/motion picture theatre built in 1922. The building is shared by the theater on the street level and a Masonic lodge on the upper floor. Although the theatre suffered indignities during its lifetime – including many decorative alterations and damage due to lack of maintenance – its primary fabric was intact, making it an excellent candidate for restoration.

Guidelines for restoration were prepared in an extensive Historic Structure Report that included building evaluation and a decorative arts assessment. The restoration included removal of all elements added during the Art Deco period and reinstatement of the building’s 1922 decorative paint scheme and architectural elements of the target period. Other components to the theatre’s rehabilitation included modern restrooms, sound and lighting systems, cinema equipment, and providing barrier-free accessibility.