The Al. Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wisconsin, opened its doors in November 1915 and has been operating continuously ever since.
Designed by the architectural firm Rapp and Rapp,
it was built by Albert Ringling, one of the circus
Ringling Brothers, for $100,000.
Over the years, it has featured performances from
vaudeville and silent movies to grand opera starring
such notables as Lionel Barrymore and Mary Pickford.
The design of the theater is based on the Orpheum Theatre, built
by Rapp and Rapp in Champaign, Illinois in 1914. The decor of the
auditorium is said to have derived from Ange-Jacques Gabriel's
opera house of 1763-1770 in the Palace of Versailles but
some believe it to be at least equally based on Victor Louis's
1764 Grand-Théâtre in Bordeaux.
Originally the theater had a Style 1 Wurlitzer theater
pipe organ. Later a 9 rank, 3 manual Barton with a
"circus wagon" style console replaced the Wurlitzer.
Al. Ringling Theatre
A gem in our midst
The Al. Ringling Theatre is a
501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.