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Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater

Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater of Dunn Historical Society, WI

This picturesque building was erected in 1889 and presented to the City of Menomonie by Captain and Mrs. Andrew Tainter in memory of their daughter Mabel.  The Tainters employed hundreds of craftsmen from Scotland, who managed to complete the building in a year.

Among America's top historic theaters, the 107 year old Tainter Memorial represents the grand Victorian era's best. Constructed by lumber baron Andrew Tainter and wife Bertha to memorialize their teenaged daughter, who died in 1886. Lavishly furnished and extensively restored, the Tainter provides a home for the preservation and enjoyment of performing and visual arts in Western Wisconsin.

In 1890 the library was moved to the Mabel Tainter Memorial building.  It was planned as a community cultural center and included an assembly room, a library and reading room, the Mabel Tainter Memorial Theatre, meeting rooms, a theater and workrooms for ladies and young men.

At the back of the auditorium, visitors today can see the original lights and stained glass. The ceiling and wall designs have been restored by hand. The original wood and metal parts of the seats were retained when they were refurbished and widened to accommodate the comfort of 21st century audiences.

Today, they would see those same lights, still fitted for both electricity and gas. They could again marvel at the same exquisite details, the glowing stained glass, and the brilliant colors of the draperies, stenciled patterns, and intricate brass grilles—all the components that made it a “veritable bower of beauty” in 1890.

This beautifully restored building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is a charter member of the League of Historic American Theatres, and is a designated Wisconsin historical marker site. Its Victorian architecture features intricate hand stenciled walls, carved woodwork, gleaming brass fixtures, marble staircase, ornate fireplaces, leaded glass windows, and a rare Steere and Turner Tracker pipe organ.

It tells the history of this building." Uncovering the historic details of the building, considered a spectacular example of the Richardsonian Roman-esque style, takes knowledge, patience and money. One of the details that have not been revealed is who designed the building. The intimate 313-seat theater offers a full season of professional performing arts events featuring nationally recognized artists as well as outstanding local theatrical and musical talent.

The new “Mabel” now able to offer memories to an even broader audience. A newly-constructed annex, artfully incorporated into the back of the building, gives it the accessibility it’s been missing in the form of an elevator, special seating areas and modern bathrooms as well as extra space. Every seat is just like sitting in the front row! Even in the balcony, you will be so close to the stage and the incredible sound

The Memorial provided the community a reading room and library, club rooms, and an auditorium. It also served as the home of the original Menomonie Unitarian Society, whose minister, Henry Doty Maxson, inspired the Tainters to have it built as a center dedicated to the city's moral and social welfare. The Mabel Tainter Memorial continues to provide a cultural and educational focus for the entire community.

Visiting hours:

Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday
Box Office is open two hours prior to all theater performances.

Location and direction:

Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater
205 Main St E
Menomonie, WI 54751
Exit off I-94 on Highway 25. Continue south to Main Street. Turn left and travel one block, to 205 Main. We are located only one hour from the Twin Cities and 30 minutes from Eau Claire

Contact Info:

Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone (Office): (715) 235-972.
Website: http://www.mabeltainter.com/

Contact for Ticket and price:

Tickets are available now through the Mabel Tainter Box Office at (715) 235-0001.
Season ticket packages are $29 and include seats for all three productions.