Stepping into the magnificently designed Al. Ringling Theatre is like being transported into the early pages of Baraboo’s rich cultural history. Built in 1915 and crafted in the style of the Great Opera Hall at the Palace of Versailles, the Al. Ringling Theatre has been an ornate fixture in downtown Baraboo for over 90 years. Red carpeted hallways, intricate ceiling frescos, golden carved theater boxes and fine draperies attribute to the theater’s reputation as the “prettiest playhouse in America.” Since opening night, the theater has featured everything from vaudeville to opera, as well as a variety of live musical and theatrical productions.
Today, residents and visitors to Baraboo can experience the magic of the Al. Ringling Theatre as it was more than 90 years ago. The appearance of the theater is being carefully preserved; restoration efforts include the acquisition of adjacent property in order to expand cultural programming.
Other cultural events sponsored by the Baraboo area include several productions by the local theater guild and art fairs. Concerts on the Square take place Thursday evenings during summer on the courthouse square. The local school system actively supports the instruction and production of theatrical and musical productions. A local arts and humanities consortium organizes and promotes a variety of other cultural programs and events.