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Milwaukee, WI: Grand Theater on North Holton Street May Have New Life

Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 3:05 PM

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The Grand Theater on North Holton Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin hasn't shown movies in more than 40 years, but an effort by a prospective developer hopes to reopen it as a venue for live theater, music, and dance performances, weddings, and yes, perhaps movies. The news was reported in a recent article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The plans to convert the historic Grand Theater, 2917 N. Holton St., into a venue for live performances, as well as weddings and other events, is gaining momentum — despite the daunting price tag.

A proposal to redevelop the city-owned property is to be reviewed by the Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee at its Tuesday meeting.


The restored building would host theatrical, dance and music performances, as well as show movies, said Ruth Weill, a Riverwest community organizer who's helping lead the effort. It also could provide programs for neighborhood youth.

"We're trying to make it as versatile as possible," she said.

The plans, which are being created with the help of local architectural firm American Design Inc., call for two small theaters that can be combined into one larger venue, Weill said.

One theater would have 99 seats, and the other would have 150 to 200 seats. The seats would be movable, she said, allowing for both theater-style rows as well as chairs and tables for weddings and other events.

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

The theater opened in 1911 and stopped showing movies in 1975. The city of Milwaukee now owns the building after it executed a tax foreclosure.

Currently, the closest movie theaters to this location are the Landmark Oriental Theatre and Landmark Downer Theatre (about a mile to the southeast) and the Fox Bay Cinema Grill (about three miles north).

Below is the report from business reporter Tom Daykin:

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