The Historic West Bend Theatre
In December 2018 our conservation team was brought in to conduct paint analysis for interior spaces of the Historic West Bend Theatre ( AKA The Bend) in West Bend, WI. The purpose of this survey is to support renovation efforts by investigating and documenting the historic color palettes and decorative motifs.
Because EverGreene has extensive experience working on Graven & Mayger theaters, including the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville, and the Alabama Theater in Birmingham, we suspected there might be designs underneath the current paint layer, even though there was no indication of these decorative schemes.
Jeff Greene, Chairman, developed the approach and managed the project. Brian Fick carried out field investigations. Brooke Russell, Dona Yu, and Yiyang Li performed the microscopy and color analysis and authored the final report.
The results of the painted finishes investigation indicate that the West Bend Theatre was originally decorated with vibrant stencil designs consisting of red, blue, orange, and green, with bronze paint and toned aluminum leaf in select areas. The proscenium and faux-stained glass ceiling are particularly unique. The walls and ceiling were also covered with various textured plaster surfaces, which were glazed to create a variety of visual textured effects. The historical decorative schemes appeared to be intact below subsequent campaigns of overpaint. Our team identified Munsell color matches for the historic finishes.