Chippewa Lake Park

Starlight Ballroom


Starlight Ballroom

Welcome to the interior of the Chippewa Lake Starlight Ballroom. The ballroom is sadly no longer standing due to a fire (more info here), but I was able to get these pictures before the fire. The ballroom was built in the early 1920s and has hosted countless dances over its years in use up through 1978. Over 5000 people could be packed in the the ballroom at at time, with the highest number being a 5,404 paid crowd to see Vaughn Monroe. The motto at the ballroom was 'Dancing Every Night', and for many years it lived up to its name. The number of couples that met here is unimaginable. One of the ballroom's many claims to fame is that Lawrence Welk did his first major audio broadcast from the ballroom in 1937. Church services were held there on Sundays. Food was served along side the dance floor. There were car shows, dances, concerts, battles of the band, and much much more.

When I visited the ballroom in the late 1990's, it was in relatively poor condition. The roof was leaking in many spots. There was evidence of several very small fires, vandalism, etc. The floor was rotting in spots. I didn't get many pictures because at the time I was limited to how much film I had and didn't want to use it all there. Little did I know that the ballroom would eventually be gone for good.

One interesting story about the ballroom that I read in Sharon Kraynek's book was that a bomb once exploded inside the ballroom. This happened in 1940, and it was never known exactly why someone would bomb the ballroom. The ballroom was repaired right away and was back in service that evening. To this day, the bombing is a bit of a mystery.


Pictures of The Starlight Ballroom
Click any picture to see a full sized
The interior looking toward the stage.
From the stage looking out toward the entrance.

The tables along the side where food was served.

Along the front wall.
Ticket booth inside the main entrance.
It appears someone tried to burn a toilet.
The stairs leading to the basement bathroom.
Close up of the stage.
Food prep area.


To see the entire unlabeled gallery of all of my current Ballroom pictures, click HERE

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