Back side of theater
You start out simple, and begin to cut out a hole for the puppets. But then you realize if you only cut part of the cardboard, you can bend it back into a stage. And since you're making a stage, you might as well make some curtains. Which means you'll need something to hold the curtains up. You find a dowel and cut it to size. You plan on gluing it in, but then you think, what if the kids want to change the curtains? You then add some extra grommets to the side of the box so the dowel can be removed.
You then realize that the curtains don't stay to the side on their own. Well you can't have a puppet show with closing curtains! You decide to add a curtain tie back. The gold string reminds you of the gold fringe on theater curtains and you think that would be a very nice detail. You search every inch of your craft room for fringe only to remember you donated it to the Goodwill. You vow never to get rid of any craft supplies again.
While looking at your theater with its stage and curtains, you realize it could use a coat of paint. But then you think, why not add a little detail.
Next thing you know, you're googling "vintage theaters" for reference. You stumble upon a few you like and from those images sketch out some details. Then you begin to paint. But what colors to use? Oh, the choices. You settle on peach gold and turquoise. The box begins to look a little flat so you decide it needs texture. You get out some gold dresden stars and glue them to the box. Things are turning out nicely.
The kids begin to start asking questions, "Can I decorate it? When can we play with it?". You feel slightly guilty. You suggest they make puppets.
You begin to get more adventurous. The sides of the stage look like they're missing something so you draw two balconies. You want that architectural relief look but how to get it? You dig into your stamp collection and find just the right image. Perfect!
You think you're done but feel like something is missing. You have a light bulb moment. You're literally thinking light bulbs. Your stage needs a lighting system. First you think Christmas lights but you don't want anything that needs to be plugged in. You need something basic like a flashlight. You cut a hole on the top of your theater for the flash light.
Tada! You now have a spotlight that can move with its performers.
You sit back and enjoy your work. You then hand it over to your kids and silently say a short prayer. It's something along the lines of "please keep this theater in one piece, at least for today".