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Milwaukee, WI: The Garfield Theater Takes on New Life as Church

Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006. Last Updated on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 8:52 PM by Scott Jentsch

Historian and author Larry Widen has written an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the current use for the historic Garfield Theater, located at 2947 N. King Drive in Milwaukee, WI. The Greater Philadelphia Church of God in Christ is using the former theater as its new worship space. Built in 1927 as a movie palace with the design of an Austrian opera house, the theater thrived at first, but couldn't withstand the external forces that brought about its closure in 1967. The article provides interesting facts about the theater and its architects and developers, as well as a small glimpse above the suspended ceiling, showing the opulent plasterwork and detail that still exists out of view. One can't help but feel dismay about the absence of such movie palaces that were once so prevalent in America's cities. Perhaps someday, we might be able to enjoy such design and detail again. One can also hope that the Philadelphia Church of God in Christ is a good tenant and caretaker of this piece of Milwaukee movie history. Larry Widen is a noted historian and has published an excellent, but now out-of-print book titled "Milwaukee Movie Palaces" and has a new book "Silver Screens" due to be available in Fall 2006. Read the Journal Sentinel article at the link below, and you can view more information from Larry on our Movie History page.


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