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Racine, WI: Marcus Park I & II Building Ordered to be Razed

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2018 12:47 PM

Google Maps Street View image taken in July 2017

The Marcus Park I & II in Racine, Wisconsin hasn't shown movies since it closed in 1987, and the city has ordered the building to be razed, according to a recent article published in The Journal Times:

From 1928 until the 1980s, the Park Theatre, 3015 Washington Ave., showed movies like “Mommie Dearest” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Now, the building sits crumbling, cluttered and vacant.

City of Racine Chief Building Inspector Kenneth Plaski ordered the building be razed because “the structure had deteriorated structurally to the point where the building was no longer safe to be inhabited.” Demolition won’t begin for several months likely, because the courts still need to review the order.

Plaski reported that the building’s exterior is in disrepair. At Monday’s Landmarks Preservation Committee meeting, a photograph was shown depicting visible holes in the roof of the theater.


In August 2017, Plaski ordered a list of 24 repairs and inspections needed to make the building habitable again. He reported that none of them has been complied with in the last 11 months. The building’s owner, John Apple, ignored orders to repair the building, according to the city, resulting in the raze order.


Apple has until Aug. 3 to contest the raze order. If he doesn’t, the courts can decide the fate of the historic building. If the building is condemned and razed, it will be Apple’s responsibility to pay for it.

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

The theater's history dates back to 1928 when it opened as the Capitol Theatre. It was twinned in 1976, and the Marcus Theatres Corporation operated it from 1981-1987. It's truly unfortunate when a historic theater building meets its demise because of neglect and disrepair. Racine has no operating movie theaters, and what could have been a gem for the area becomes a blight instead.

The closest movie theater for moviegoers in the area is the Marcus Renaissance Cinema, about five miles west toward I-94 in Sturtevant.

Photo above: Google Maps Street View image taken in July 2017

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