This historic, Victorian theater sits right in the heart of Downtown Menomonie, overlooking Lake Menomin. The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater was constructed in 1889 as a tribute to a young woman named Mabel Tainter who had a love for music and the arts. The Memorial was commissioned by her parents who were an essential piece of Menomonie history and silent partners in the Knapp, Stout, & Co. lumber company. The exterior of the building was constructed from sandstone sourced along the Red Cedar River. The architect also integrated elaborate Moorish style curves, arches, and hand carved details to frame the main entrance of the theater.
The lavish interior of the Mabel Tainter includes multi-level seating for 261 people. The theater is known as the “crown jewel” with hand stenciled walls and ceilings, a marble staircase and floors, leaded stained glass windows, walnut and oak woodwork, brass fixtures, and four fireplaces, each constructed with different stones and techniques.
Since its establishment, the theater has undergone minimal additions and renovations to restore this nationally-recognized historic landmark to meet the needs of a modern theater. Now, this majestic gem is available for tours and showings lead by professional, volunteer tour guides who have extensive knowledge of the theater, the Tainter family history and the surrounding community. The Mabel Tainter hosts over 60 events a year featuring a variety of entertainment from the community and across the country. Events include comedians, muscians, theatrical productions, holiday favorites, featured productions presented by The Menomonie Theater Guild, and much much more!
Whether you’re a newcomer or frequent visitor, The Mabel Tainter is a memorable experience for all walks of life. This historic treasure is a breathtaking landmark but also a fabulous venue for family outings, concerts, weddings, and educational tours for theater lovers and design aficionados. There’s no bad seat in the house. The smaller setting creates a unique and intimate audience experience. Nationally ranked and faithfully restored to period perfection, this is a destination worth adding to your Menomonie bucket list! Travel back in time, take a walk around, and enjoy a show with a view at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts.