Northern Lakes Theatre
2294 State Trunk Highway 17,
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Phelps is a quiet unincorporated lakefront tourist community of perhaps 1,300 within the Town of Phelps in Vilas County, Wisconsin, and yet its rather sizeable (for such a small business district) hometown theatre still exists, marquee and all, nearly as it was built as the Happy Hour Theatre in the 1920’s with two adjoining storefronts. (One, a barbershop, was in business from the mid-1930’s to the mid-1950’s.)
Information is very sketchy on the Northern Lakes Theatre’s history, but in the mid to later 1920’s the theatre was managed by an Alvin Weed. By 1959, it was owned and operated by Joseph E. Peterson, who was offering it for sale and announced that it would be closed that winter but was to reopen in the spring of 1960.
Any information on this interesting theatre building is welcome. (The large corner building in the photographs was the Lakeland Hotel and was demolished in 2008.)
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