#12: 2096 Church Street

This structure, built in 1847 by Jude and Clifford Churchill as an opera house called the “Grand Theater,” was the site of many operettas, plays, dances, basketball games, Mandolin Club concerts, traveling troupes who gave plays (one was the Tia DeVass Troupe), and graduations. The concert walls backstage are signed by local people and visiting celebrities. The original stage, complete with curtain, is still preserved in the rear of the building. It has twenty-foot high tin ceilings and trim, and the original plank floor boards. It was held there was in 1938. It was used as a movie theater, run by Mr. Jude and others. During the shows, C.B. Barthoff ran the popcorn wagon out front. Later it was Lou’s Apparel, and Art and Roy Menne ran a machine shop in the basement. The down-stairs held a pool hall and bowling alley. The second floor was added later, containing Jean Spight’s beauty shop and the offices of Dr. Baker and later Dr. Voskuil. D-X Radio Products Co. also operated a business here until December 1963 when it moved to the main plant in Chicago. This move left the building vacant for some time. In 1969 it was purchased John E. Schneider, and in 1990 the building got a “face lift” to fit the character of the square.

News Clipping and Program from a production at the opera house.

East Troy High School Band