History of Three Lakes Center for the Arts


This community theater is virtually unique – there are only six of these Quonset hut theaters left in the entire country still showing movies. Built for the Seabees in WWII, this original Quonset found its way to Three Lakes in 1946 and became a center of movie entertainment throughout our area.

Just like the Three Lakes community effort that led to its original construction  (shares of stock purchased across our town) it will take a community-wide effort to keep it and continue to renovate it .

Another little known fact is that the original theater was designed (for which he won an award) and built by a local sports hero – Cy Williams.  Cy was one of the all time great baseball   players – a peer with players like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. He was only the second person ever to hit 250 homeruns (Rogers Hornsby did it first) – and that was during the “deadball” era.

The renovation of the building has taken over $400,000 of  donations and fund raising to date and thousands of hours of volunteer effort. It has once again become a Three Lakes  community-wide project, led by the Three Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCFA- a 501[3]c).

The goal of TLCFA is to provide a center – a hub – for arts and entertainment in our locale – just as it did in 1946 when it was built.  All of us in and around Three Lakes can be proud of the fact that this theater is being saved while so many have been destroyed.

If you want to lend a hand to the adventure, let us know. Contributions are, of course, welcome but there are so many other ways to help. We need volunteers to sell theater tickets, or watch the gallery while it is open – or just make a special effort to keep up with our changing movie and live performance programs and attend and enjoy them.

If you live outside the area – spread the word about this unique theater and art center.  If you live here year around, feel free to brag about what a special thing your community is doing for arts and entertainment up here in the North Woods.  Three Lakes really is a place where dreams do come true – together we are once again  proving that!