Remove ads with our VIP Service
- Paradise Theatre
West Allis, WI
Add Your Comments
- "Toy Story that Time Forgot" Coming to ABC in December 2014 [7/25]
- Bad Robot Tweets IMAX Camera on Star Wars Set [7/11]
- Road and Track Spies Electric Harley Davidson on Set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" [7/2]
- Chicago, IL: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) Announces Chicago Location [6/25]
- Moviescoop Changes Name to Golden Star Theaters [6/20]
- Stay for the End Credits of "22 Jump Street" [6/13]
- "Ghostbusters" 30th Anniversary Celebrated with Re-Release on Labor Day Weekend Followed by Blu-ray Release [6/6]
- USA Today Offers a Sneak Peek at "The Book of Life" [5/30]
- New Batmobile Teased by Director Zack Snyder in Twitter Post [5/12]
- One Man's Problem with Superhero Movies Hits the Nail on the Head [5/9]
In February 1996, the Paradise Theatre in West Allis, Wisconsin stopped showing its line-up of classic movies, which fit well with the historical theater, which was built in 1929. As with most single-screen historical theaters left behind by the march of progress, the future of the Paradise was very much in question.
News stories of renovations and rehabilitations were countered by mentions of razing and destruction. Those with an appreciation for the past hoped for the best while developers and city planners salivated at the idea of change. The challenges of operating a historical single-screen theater in need of restoration made it almost certain that the fate of the Paradise would be like so many across the country that now reside only in the archives of historical societies and a few web sites hoping to keep their memory alive even after their death.
Fortunately, the Paradise Theatre building has found a new purpose which appears to be saving a majority of its architectural elements. The Epikos Church in Milwaukee is expanding by converting the Paradise Theater into one of its satellite locations. The Journal Sentinel reports in an article published on May 13, 2012 that Epikos is investing nearly $2 million into the project:
"It would have been horrible to take a wrecking ball to it," [Rev. Danny Parmelee] said of the former Paradise Theater, near S. 62nd St. and W. Greenfield Ave., which is being transformed into a satellite site for the growing church.
"We want to be a gathering place in West Allis," he said. "We want to be part of the city's revitalization."
Most significant to anyone that has attended the Paradise Theatre is the photo gallery that the Journal Sentinel published with the article. The photos show the main staircase, lobby, and theater areas, and they look pretty good! While the theater's color scheme seems to be different than what I remember when I was last there in the 90's, it seems like they have done a pretty good job of retaining the core elements of the theater's architecture.
Click the Read link below to view the photos.
It seems that Epikos Church has found some success with people, and hopefully this means that the renovations will be completed and the building maintained well. Many times, old theaters are torn down because of lack of maintenance compromises the building and creates safety issues.
For those of us that look back with fondness of the memories of seeing classic movies being shown at the Paradise Theatre, perhaps we can hope that after Sunday services, they'll consider doing some Sunday matinees...
What Do You Think?
Is this fate a good one for the Paradise Theatre? Is it better for a historical theater to be saved to live another day, or if it isn't showing movies, should it have been put to rest so as not to diminish its legacy?
Leave your comments below!
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your ZIP Code -- the site remembers your ZIP code, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2014, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.