Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

1722--1726 Main St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
1722--1726 Main St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Bijou Theatre Building
Reference Number:93000159
Location (Address):1722--1726 Main St.
Bijou Theatre Building
1722-1726 Main Street, Marinette, Marinette County
Date of Construction: 1905

The earliest theaters used for the showing of motion pictures were often housed in buildings constructed for other purposes. Such is the history of the Bijou Theatre. It was built as a combination retail store and vaudeville theater in 1905 for Frank Lauerman, Marinette's most prominent retail merchant. Lauerman's new Classical Revival style-influenced building was initially a success; however, its construction coincided with a nationwide trend away from live vaudeville productions, hastened by the advent of motion pictures. Consequently, after a few years the Bijou was transformed into a movie theater, but its small size (383 seats) put it at a disadvantage when newer and larger movie theaters were built nearby.

By 1918, there were eight movie theaters operating in the twin cities of Marinette and Menominee, Michigan. As a result, in 1924 the Bijou building was transformed into commercial office and retail space. This use continues to the present. The Bijou is now one of Marinette's most intact early twentieth century commercial buildings. It is also the sole survivor of the eight theaters that once competed for the area's movie audience.

The building is used for private businesses. Please respect the privacy of the tenants.

Period of Significance:1900-1924
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Specialty Store
Historic Use:Recreation And Culture: Theater
Architectural Style:Classical Revival
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/11/1993
State Register Listing Date:02/08/1993
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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