High School Auditorium
Hibbing High School was hailed upon its dedication day of January 28, 1924, as the “Richest Gem in Minnesota’s Educational Crown” – a tribute that remains unchallenged to this day. Built between 1920-1922 at a cost of nearly four million dollars, the school resembles a “medieval castle outlined against the sky.” Raised from the ground level of a ten-acre plot upon which the school stands, the building deliberately mirrors the style of Northern Italian architecture with its dark wire cut bricks and white stone trimmings. Set back one hundred fifty feet from the street in front and sixty-six feet from the avenues on each side, Hibbing High School does, indeed, seem to be the “castle in the wilderness” that its builders envisioned.
The greatest artistic treasure of this educational gem is the Hibbing High School Auditorium. Modeled after the Capitol Theatre in New York City and known for its elegant design, hand molded ceilings, and cut-glass chandeliers imported from Belgium, the 1,773-seat auditorium remains the pride of the community.
The 40’x 60’ stage is framed by a 20’x 40’ proscenium arch. The “fly” area above the stage holding the backdrops – once forty-five in number and installed and executed specifically for this auditorium by the Twin City Scenic Company – rises ninety feet above the stage floor.
The auditorium features a magnificent pipe organ with 1,900 pipes that can play any orchestral instrument except the violin.
Beginning in June 2017, the district began a restoration project that would take place over two summers. The first phase concentrated on stage improvements, including the replacement of the rigging to meet current safety standards, stage lighting improvements, and sound system upgrades. The second phase of renovation, beginning in the summer of 2018, included restoration of the existing seating, plaster patching and repainting, adding an acoustic shell, and a state of the art projection system. The hoist cables and attic winches were repaired to ensure the safety of the priceless original crystal chandeliers.
The Hibbing High School Auditorium is a treasure to all students, staff, alumni and the community of Hibbing.