IRON MOUNTAIN —
The Braumart Theatre has been in Iron Mountain since the 1920s. Nearly abandoned for the past few years, its soon-to-be new owners have plans for this classic theatre.
Braumart has been changed drastically from the theatre it was when it was established nearly a century ago. What once was considered the best movie house north of Milwaukee in its day, is now an abandoned building. Friends of The Braumart is set on changing that.
"I looked down the block and then I looked at my wife and said that how sad it is that that beautiful building is not being used," said Vice President of Friends of the Braumart John Estes. "I said, 'I'm going to have to do something about that.'"
This historic building is a true diamond in the rough in this town, a town with incredible artistic talent, a hidden gem in it of itself, with nowhere to showcase or experience it.
"There is no true, dedicated venue for arts," said Estes. "I think that's kinda missing in the town, and we're hoping to provide that."
With a very rich history of shows, concerts and people who have come through to perform here, there is hope that in bringing back the Braumart, history just might repeat itself and lure in even more great artists.
"I think when you have a gem like this, in a community like this and there are people that I haven't even mentioned that are from this area that will be drawn more and more to come back to just be a part of this," said Linda Zanon, director of Dickinson District Alliance.
Friends of the Braumart wants to enrich the lack of culture in the community by becoming a venue for performers and performances people here want.
"They wanna be able to see a ballet; they wanna be able to see a live show," Estes added. "They wanna be able to hear an orchestra. They want to have a place for their kids to dance."
All events the city has longed to participate in.
"By bringing it back to what it used to be will just be a huge benefit for not only the community, but for all of us because we'll all be participating in what they're offering," Zanon said.
The new owners plan on literally bringing back the Braumart by giving it a 1920s, vintage look and feel, but with an updated twist. They want to replicate the original as much as possible, reinstalling the marquee and even incorporating original items the theatre back in 1925 housed. Renovations are estimated to be well over one million dollars.
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