Bessesen Building

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Beatrice Bessesen Theater Building
The Bessessen Building in 2017
Bessesen Building is located in Minnesota
Bessesen Building
Location Albert Lea, Minnesota
Coordinates 43°38′54″N 93°22′8″W / 43.64833°N 93.36889°W / 43.64833; -93.36889 (Bessessen)Coordinates: 43°38′54″N 93°22′8″W / 43.64833°N 93.36889°W / 43.64833; -93.36889 (Bessessen)
Built 1916
Part of Albert Lea Commercial Historic District (#03001337[1])
Designated CP December 29, 2003

The Bessesen Building, also called the Rivoli Theater, is located at 224 South Broadway in Albert Lea, Albert Lea, Minnesota, United States. It has had multiple uses and housed many enterprises and organizations.

The Bessessen Opera House was built in 1916, designed by St. Paul architects Van Kirk and Cederburg, to showcase the talents of internationally acclaimed opera prima donna Beatrice Bessessen. It has since been adapted for usage as a motion picture theatre, a mini-mall, and most recently the home of the Freeborn County Arts Initiative.[2] The façade is French Renaissance. The upper interiors possess both Arts and Crafts style and Art Nouveau elements. Historical aspects of the first level have been compromised. It is currently in need of major restoration. The "Restore the Building Foundation" has been created for that purpose.

The Albert Lea Art Center was formerly located in the Bessessen.


  1. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ "New art gallery opens on Broadway | Albert Lea Tribune". Retrieved 2017-03-01. 

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