Badger Theatre

311 E. Grand Avenue,
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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This downtown Eau Claire theater opened in 1925 as the Wisconsin Theatre, located on Grand Avenue at Barstow Street. In the early 40s, the Wisconsin was renamed the Badger and continued to operate until 1957. The theater was torn down in 1966.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kenosharay
kenosharay on March 23, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I remember going to Saturday kid’s matinees at this theatre. They always had cartoons, a serial and a movie. Before the show they would have contests in the front of the theatre in which you could win prizes. After it closed as a theatre, the floor was leveled and it was a youth recreation center for a short period. Later it was used for a small boat show. I remember attending it and seeing the brightly lit auditorium with hardly remnants of a movie theatre except for the small balcony which was still intact with theatre seats.

kdadq
kdadq on May 5, 2008 at 10:09 am

I also remember the Saturday cowboy matinees, only 12 cents. There
was a weekly newsreel that took forever when I was waiting for Trigger and Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, or the Lone Ranger with Silver and Tonto.

Now I’m trying to find my mom’s story. Zona Turk was the pianist for one of the movie theaters, and I suspect it may be the Badger. She was once engaged to a young man who died after a fall from a ladder as he was changing the marquee at the Badger(Wisconsin). That incident would have been 1925 or 1926.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 5, 2008 at 10:39 am

Since this is the only Wisconsin Theater listed here for Eau Claire, a Geneva theater organ size 2/8 was installed in a Wisconsin Theater in 1926.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

This house was remodeled by Liebenberg & Kaplan in 1938, and is listed as the Badger Theatre in the finding aid to the Liebenberg & Kaplan papers at the University of Minnesota.

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