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Racine, WI: Marcus Park I & II Demolition Delayed

Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 11:25 AM


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Theater Photo Copyright © 2019, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Marcus Park I & II in Racine, Wisconsin hasn't shown movies since 1987, and after years of neglect and unpaid property taxes, the building is about to be demolished.

Despite recent efforts by a group called the "Capitol Theater Friends group," the city has declared the building beyond saving and is proceeding with its plans to tear the building down. An effort to have the building declared a local landmark also failed. See the Related News Articles section below for articles and accompanying videos from Fox6 Milwaukee.

Also known as the Park Theatre, its 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.

We visited the theater in 2019, and took over two dozen photos, which you can see on the theater's Photo Gallery page. Given its fate, we hope these photos will serve as a memorial to the historic building.

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. This is a failure by all involved, from the current owner who was in charge of being a responsible caretaker, to City leaders who should have recognized this situation for what it was before it passed the point of no return, and the community at large, which stood by while a historic building and former cultural attraction fell into disrepair.

Racine does not have a currently operating movie theater. The closest movie theater for moviegoers in the area is the Marcus Renaissance Cinema, about five miles west toward I-94 in Sturtevant.

Theater Photo Copyright © 2019, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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