If the city of La Crosse were a person, it might be content with the kind of life it has, but at the same time there might be a pesky feeling in the back of its mind that something is missing.
Thankfully, the new Cavalier Theater (the old La Crosse Community Theatre building) is set to open its doors in March to welcome the public and all sorts of performers. This just might be the missing piece La Crosse needs.
Jason LaCourse, owner of the Cavalier Lounge, signed the papers to purchase the former LCT building in October. Since then he has been busy doing paperwork and meeting with various people in suits, all the while plotting the site’s future, which he said will involve much more than just music.
“I'm not convinced that a city the size of La Crosse can support just a music venue,” LaCourse said.
So, along with a variety of bands and musicians, he hopes to bring in comedians and put on everything from burlesque and drag shows to local school recitals. He’d also like to hold yoga classes in the day, show films, provide space for artists to create, grow food in a rooftop garden, and, of course continue the building’s tradition of theater and performance arts.
“Anything to keep people coming through the doors,” he said. “I just hope there are enough other people in town who want all of this too, who'll come out and keep the whole thing afloat, and this can become a hub that fosters a scene that in some way inspires people and enriches their lives.”
As of now, LaCourse is working on remodeling the inside of the theater to make it look like the lounge. A bunch of walls have been knocked down, including one to reopen the old passageway between the lounge and the theater. Some seating has been taken out near the stage to clear room for a dance floor.
In the near future the space will also boast an impressive sound system, stage lighting, a concession stand, new tables and chairs, and a newly designed 30-foot marquee.
Remodeling will be in progress even after the theater initially opens. “I’ll continue to add touches and make it visually impressive,” La Course said.