• Midwest theaters for events
• A unique state to build upon
To paraphrase William Shakespeare’s famous quote, all the world’s a stage, is fitting when it comes to meetings and events. The organization or company is literally on stage for its participants from beginning to end, so why not reel people in and give them a memorable experience in one of the many beautiful theaters in the Midwest?
CVBs and their communities will help you set the scene of the event you are directing by helping you find the perfect stage for your event, here are just a few options in the Midwest.
Fargo-Moorhead offers multiple options to fit a variety of groups. The Stage at Island Park is equipped with a large stage giving its audience seating that circumnavigates three quarters of the stage and it has been most recently used on a weekly basis for 1 Million Cups Fargo. With a couple of side classrooms, groups have been able to host general sessions, breakouts, and receptions.
Mallari Ackerman, Account & Project Manager, Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau, proclaims that The Fargo Theater, located downtown, is an iconic must see. “It’s the place where everyone takes their picture.” This art deco theater, on the historic register, was built in 1926 with renovations in late 1990s. The theater houses a stage with seating for 800 and a breakout room for approximately 70. It also serves as a movie theater, enticing audiences with indie and foreign films. The largest event held in this unique space was a series of TEDx Fargo, until it recently outgrew the theater’s capacity.
Last, but not least in the Fargo-Moorhead area is the Sanctuary Event Center. Formerly a historic church, in fact, the first church in Fargo, it sat unused for many years until it was purchased and brought back to life. With its remodel, the owners pulled old church pews and reused the wood to re-side the basement and keep its history intact. With a large stage and plenty of space, it offers planners a functional, multi-use space.
Nicolette Berge, Events Coordinator, Downtown Community Partnership, Fargo, can speak personally to the successful use of theaters in the area. “When planning a meeting or conference, I specifically choose places that shape the quaint character of downtown Fargo. Places like The Stage, Fargo Theatre, and Sanctuary Event Center all tell a story of Fargo’s history and help set the tone for engaging events.”
Milwaukee, WI is another example of a Midwest city known for its unique and historic theaters. Margaret Casey, Communications Manager, Business & International, Visit Milwaukee, shares two of their venues that guarantee a happy audience.
Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s largest “destination” theater, the Miller High Life Theatre (formerly Milwaukee Theatre) features a splendid half-domed, rotunda lobby, ringed by three levels of gallery walkways and a mirrored wall creating the illusion of an enormous, circular rotunda. Along with the theater space itself, the rotunda is ideal for receptions, dinners, and assembly breaks. The theater originally opened in 1909 and was completely renovated in 2003 to preserve and update its classic elegance. It can accommodate up to 4,086 patrons in two tiers of sloped seating offering excellent sightlines, luxury, and comfort. Through the use of specially-designed screens and strategic house lighting, the theater can be configured to a narrower, more intimate, 2,500-seat house.
The Miller High Life Theatre has hosted an endless variety of concert, theatrical, sporting, political, religious, and corporate events, along with convention assemblies and much more. Its illustrious history ranges from campaign speeches by presidents Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush, and shows by performers like Rod Stewart and Jamie Foxx. Also a popular stop on Broadway musical tours, the theater has a century-long legacy as a center of Milwaukee civic and cultural life. The theater took center stage at the November 10, 2016 televised GOP debate, when a viewing audience of more than 13.5 million people marveled at the striking architecture of the theater, along with its impressive lighting, staging and technical capabilities. The Republican National Committee and network and cable news media conveniently housed their Media Filing Center and Media Spin Room in the adjacent UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
One of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the US, The Pabst Theater, was built in 1895 in the tradition of the grand European opera houses by brewing magnate Captain Frederick Pabst. The Pabst Theater hosts approximately 100 events per year, including music, comedy, dance, opera, and theater activities. The oldest theater in Milwaukee’s theater district, the ornate Pabst features marble staircases and intricate designs, which still amaze many visitors today.
Unique stages can turn ordinary events into something special. With rich histories, participants can enjoy a memorable meeting that will leave them with lasting impressions – the good kind!