Palace Theater restore in historic muralThe Palace Theater in Superior was torn down in 2006, but the Douglas County Historical Society is bringing the theater back to life by making a downtown mural.
By: By Brittany Berrens/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Palace Theater in Superior was torn down in 2006, but the Douglas County Historical Society is bringing the theater back to life by making a downtown mural.
Scaffolding and a few pencils sketches are all that can be seen so far of the Palace Theater mural. The 30 by 36 foot painting is going up on the back of the Historical Society’s building on John Avenue and will feature the Palace Theater in its heyday in the 1920’s. Muralist Brian Olson of Duluth says getting started was the hardest part.
“That first day. Just setting up and getting that thing started. It’s sort of downhill from there. It’s kind of daunting, one this size.”
Planning for the mural started a few months after the historical theater was demolished. So far the Historical Society has raised $7,000 of the $12,000 for the project. The group has faced a bit of criticism about the project but Barb Mattson of the Historical Society is staying positive.
“Sometimes in the most stressful times, financially, good things can still happen. Just like FDR put money into the WPA and paid theaters, writers and artists, we feel that this is also a time that Superior needs to feel good about their community. And we’re hoping that other buildings will see this idea and more murals will come about the community. That again goes towards the pride of your community and what it has to offer.”
Director Kathy Laakso says this is Superior’s chance to shine.
“A lot of people in Superior think Superior’s a dive. ‘Oh it’s just Superior,’ you know? We live next door to Duluth and Duluth is always shining on the hill,” Laakso said. Well, when you put murals up showing your past, it changes your perspective a little bit. It makes you want to try harder to do things in the future. The past always affects your future.”
The mural is expected to be finished by Sept. 2, when Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton will be in Superior to dedicate it.