The Temple Theater sits inside a classical revival building constructed in 1922 along Viroqua’s Main Street. This elegant venue entertained people from across the area with vaudeville shows, silent movies, musical productions, and other civic events during the mid-20th century. Like most theaters, it closed for a while. A 2002 renovation gave the Temple Theater new life, and it entertains audiences once again.
The building evokes the high-class Neo-classical facades of both vaudeville and traditional theaters. The original interior recalls both classic European opulence and the ornate vaudeville venues in larger American cities. Motifs in the classical revival style can be seen in the cornices, friezes, and moldings of the ceiling and walls of the vestibule. These motifs extend to the lobby, theater house, around the arched stage opening, and in the metal work of the organ grill. The original art-glass globes still hang in the auditorium. The original back screen – with hand-painted local advertisements – still hangs at the rear of the stage. The original screens on either side of the stage, the orchestra pit, even the stage machinery used in live productions and the scenery loft remain intact. The original Wurlitzer organ that provided accompaniment to silent films has been re-purchased by ARTT (Associates of the Restored Temple Theater.)
Two stores and a Masonic Temple share the building. The Temple Theater itself now serves as a civic and cultural center for the area, hosting a variety of shows and performers. The main venue features 550 seats and a new sound system installed in late 2015.
116 S. Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665