The Temple Theatre
608-637-8190 or 608-606-2340
The historic Temple Theatre occupies the center section of a 1922 classical revival style building in the center of Viroqua, Wisconsin's Main Street.. Four separate entities hold ownership in sections of the building. Flanking the theatre are two store-fronts, while the Masonic Temple occupies the front section of the second story. Restoring the theatre to serve as a cultural and civic center for our surrounding rural communities has been the dream and drive of the volunteer organization ARTT, Associates to Restore the Temple Theatre.
Through ARTT's efforts, in 2000 the building was placed on both the United States and the Wisconsin Registers of Historic Places.
A successful 1.6 million fund raising campaign in 2000 and 2001 provided the money to return the theatre to its original classical revival decor, as well as to bring it into compliance with current federal and state codes for public buildings. Installing new riggings for stage curtains and a new stage floor in November, 2002 signaled the completion of the restoration. Bill White, from River Architects of La Crosse, WI, has directed the project from beginning. Bachmann Construction of Madison, WI is the general contractor for the project with Ron Swiggum serving as the project manager.
In December 2002, the ARTT Board of Directors voted unanimously to change ARTT's name from Associates to Restore the Temple Theatre to Associates of the Restored Temple Theatre. This name change symbolizes a new beginning for the theatre as a cultural and civic center for the surrounding rural communities.
In the spring of 2009, ARTT purchased the section of the Temple building that is adjacent to the theatre lobby. This section had been used as a cafe. Renamed "Encore" and renovated by ARTT volunteers, the space now serves as a reception area after season shows and special events. When not in use by ARTT, Encore is available for rental as a wonderful venue for private parties, seminars, bridal showers, and other small social events.