Juliar Theatre

505 Broadway,
Baraboo, WI 53913

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Additional Info

Architects: John J. Flad

Firms: John J. Flad Associates

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Photo courtesy of Joe Ward.

The Juliar Theatre was built in 1938 by Henry Ringling, Al Ringling’s nephew, and the owner of the Al Ringling Theatre at that time. The name comes from the maiden name of the Ringling Brothers' mother, Salome Juliar Ringling. As a trivia note, their were two other Juliar sisters, one whom married a Gollmar and had several boys (whom also went on to create a circus) and one whom married a Moeller and had two boys which made circus wagons with their father.

The Juliar Theatre was a sparsely decorated Art Deco box which provided programming alternatives to the Al Ringling Theatre. The Juliar Theatre was heavily used when only a few years after it opened the massive Badger Ordnance Works opened just south of Baraboo eventually employing 13,000 people.

I’m not sure when the theatre went out of use but as long as I can remember (back to the 70’s) it was never open, but the name always remained on the ouside of the building. (the sign is now owned by Juliar family members). It was demolished to make way for the West Square Building in 1994.

Contributed by Paul Wolter, Eric Ellis

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

PaulWolter on April 24, 2007 at 9:32 am

The Juliar opened on Feb. 10, 1939. There were 407 seats. The theatre also boasted a “cry room” upstairs near the projection booth. The sound proof room had seven seats. The interior was in tones of rose and ivory with carpets of deep henna rose and seats of a lighter shade with ivory trim.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 1, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Life’s too short’s entry on the Al Ringling Theater, Baraboo, Wisconsin site on January 7,2006 thinks that the Juliar Theater might have changed it’s name and had 2 screens. Anyone know anything about that?

LouisRugani on April 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm

(August 30, 1993) The city of Baraboo has agreed to buy the aging Juliar Theater on the city’s square for possible razing and use as a parking lot for the county courthouse and the downtown area.
Last week, the city council voted to buy the building for $27,400 from Al Ringling Theatre Friends, which plans to use the money to continue renovations on the Ringling Theatre.
The Juliar is adjacent to other property recently purchased by the city for parking. (Wisconsin State Journal)

LouisRugani on April 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

(January 16, 1953) Two Baraboo Theaters Sold to New Milwaukee Company

The Al Ringling theater, “America’s Prettiest Playhouse” since 1915, has been sold with its sister theater, the Juliar, to a new Milwaukee corporation, Baraboo Theaters, Inc., by Henry E. Ringllng.
Purchase price for the theaters was announced at more than $150,000. The Al Ringling theater, when it was completed in 1915, cost $100,000.
The corporation which bought the theaters also operates theaters in Richland Center, Boscobel, Elroy, and Black River Falls. It is headed by Jacob Eskin, president of the Eskin Theater Management Co., Milwaukee.
The Al Ringling theater was built by Albert Ringling, an owner of the Ringling Brothers circus. It seats 834, and at the time it was built was one of the largest and finest theaters in a city of its size in the country.
The Juliar, a much smaller theater, was completed in 1938 by Henry E. Ringling, in memory of Mrs. Selome Juliar Ringling, mother of the Ringling brothers.
The Al Ringling theatre originally was built for legitimate theatre, or as an “opera house.” It was converted to a movie theater later. It is still used for area theatrical performances.
Famous actors who have visited the theater during the time it was an opera house include Lionel Barrymore and Charlotte Greenwood.
Henry E. Ringling, Wisconsin Republican national committeeman, was in Washington for the inauguration Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

The January 16, 1939, issue of The Film Daily ran this somewhat belated item it its “Theater Openings” column:

“Baraboo — ‘The Juliar,’ 450 seats, 415 Broadway; Builder: Henry E. Ringling; Architect: J. J. Flad; Cost: $60,000; Operator: Henry Ringling; To be completed 12-31-38.”
John J. Flad & Associates, the architectural firm founded by J. J. Flad at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1927, is still in operation as Flad Architects, now headquartered in Atlanta and with branches in Madison and four other cities, though they don’t appear to be designing theaters these days.

barbdenslow on April 30, 2018 at 8:43 am

When my family lived in Baraboo (1940’s), the Juliar Theater showed the fancy Hollywood movies — the ones in TECHNICOLOR. The Al Ringling Theater had Saturday Cowboy matinees in black & white — Roy Rogers’s movies finally began in color. My grandmother, Susie Gollmar, used to give me a quarter and let me walk 4 blocks for movies and popcorn. I was 6 or 7 then. I am great-great grand daughter of Mary Magdalene Juliar Gollmar.

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