Grand Theater

401 N. Fourth Street,
Wausau, WI 54403

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Grand Theatre, Wausau, WI

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Opened in 1928, the 1200-plus seat Grand Theater was designed by Wayne Schoupke in stately neoclassical style. Though recently restored to its former elegance, including gilded columns and beautiful plasterwork, the Grand, as part of the Artsblock Performing Arts Foundation, which also operates the adjoining Great Hall, the Loft, Greenheck Lounge and Caroline Mark Gallery, is a modern live performance venue.

It now has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and not only hosts Broadway shows, dance, and concerts, but also films, community events, and is available for rental.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 23, 2007 at 12:36 pm

A Kilgen theater organ opus 3711 size 3/6 style U014X was installed in the Grand Theater in 1926. Note: Kilgen Opus 3711 at the Grand Theater in Wausau is still in it’s original location, and had undergone a partial restoration and augmentation to 11 ranks by the Schlicker Organ Co. 4-8-02.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Here is a photo of the Grand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2011 at 2:28 am

The source for the name of the architect currently listed for this theater, Wayne Schoupke, is apparently David Naylor’s 1987 book “Great American Movie Theaters” (at least I’ve been unable to find any other print sources using that name that are cited on the Internet.)

However, a web page from the Marathon County Historical Society about Wausua architect William Oppenhamer attributes the design of the Grand to his firm of Oppenhamer & Obel (Irving Obel.) Historical societies can be wrong, of course, but so can authors of books. (The historical society web site is weird, so I can’t link the page directly. Search Google with these three words, including the quote marks: “Oppenhamer, William” Marathon …his page should be the first result.)

There is an architect named Wayne Schoepke (note different spelling of the surname) currently practicing in Wausau. Perhaps Schoepke was the architect for a renovation of the Grand, and Naylor just got his notes garbled? I’ve been unable to find any period references to an architect named either Schoupke or Schoepke, but there are many old references to the firm of Oppenhamer & Obel (including one, from 1921, about a theater they were designing, to be located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin,) so I’m inclined to think the historical society got this one right, and Naylor got it wrong.

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