Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

314-322 W WISCONSIN

Architecture and History Inventory
314-322 W WISCONSIN | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:FISCHER PARAMOUNT THEATRES CO.
Other Name:PORTAGE THEATRE
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:30168
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):314-322 W WISCONSIN
County:Columbia
City:Portage
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1927
Additions:
Survey Date:1992
Historic Use:theater
Architectural Style:Georgian Revival
Structural System:Masonry
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Portage Retail Historic District
National Register Listing Date:4/27/1995 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:10/24/1994 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:Facade composed of evenly spaced pilasters carrying a swag design; rosette and floral design along pilaster. Above entrance: double pilasters flanking a pedimented window with consoles and a swag beneath a round arch with keystone. Entrance area altered; addition in similar material at north elevation; interior altered.

Sanborn-Perris Map Co.:
1929: Fisher Paramount, dressing rooms, stage, and scenery with asbestos curtains, concrete floors, tile and brick faced, steel truss roof.
1918: theater is not present. There is a vacant marble shop (Stotzer) which is present on the 1885 Sanborn Map.

Columbia Co. Treasurer 1863-
1930: Portage Theater Corp replacing the Fischer Paramount Theater.
1927-1929: Fischer Paramount Theater Corporation.
1926: Commercial Realty and Investment Co.
The shift in valuation indicates that the theater was completed in 1927.

Directories:
1955: (322) Portage Theater (Johnson Printing Co.).
1948: (322) Portage Theater (Commonwealth Telephone Co.).
1937: Portage Theater Co., W. Wisconsin (Commonwealth Telephone Co.).
1929: (322) Brin's Portage Co., Brin's Theater Co. (Smith-Baumann Directory Co.).

Stotzer Granite Co. Plant, cor. of Dodge and Wisconsin
Its office: 216 E. Wisconsin.
1910: Stotzer Marble and Granite Co., 317 Wisconsin (Voshardt).

The Fisher Paramount Theater Company erected the Portage Theaer at 314-322 W. Wisconsin (31/20) in 1927. The brick veneer, tile Classical Revival building included a stage, scenery with asbestos curtains, and dressing rooms. It opened as Brin's Theater Company. During the Depression, the theater closed for several years until purchased by F.J. McWilliams of the Portage Theater Corporation. When it opened, it provided live entertainment with the Barton Organ. Over the years, the theater played not only movies but Vaudeville Acts and live stage performances and provided space for community activities. In 1985, the interior was divided into three theaters and the exterior was enlarged along its northwest elevation using a similar size and color brick and similar detailing as the original building (Murtagh 1989; Columbia County Treasurer 1863- [1927]; Sanborn-Perris Map Co. 1929). Although this theater appears more elegant than its predecessors, the Portage Theater was still a movie theater rather than a movie palace.
Bibliographic References:(A) PORTAGE 1989 LANDMARKS CALENDAR. (B) SANBORN-PERRIS MAPS. (C) COLUMBIA COUNTY TREASURER 1863- (D) CITY DIRECTORIES.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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