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Milwaukee, WI: Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse and Times Cinema to Close in March

Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 9:11 PM and updated on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 10:56 AM

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse in Wauwatosa and the Times Cinema in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are closing the first week of March 2012:

The Rosebud and Times cinemas are closing the first week of March, according to owner David Glazer.

Glazer has owned the Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St., since January 2007. He has owned the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse, 6823 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, since October 2007.

Glazer said in a news release that, like investors who purchased property five to six years ago, he bought the properties when the market was high.

"Property values have fallen considerably in the last few years," Glazer said. "The lending environment today makes it very difficult to renew or refinance commercial loans."

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

Photo taken July 10, 2010 Copyright © 2012, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.Both theaters are owned by David Glazer, and are located less than two miles apart.

The Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse was originally called the Tosa Cinema when it opened in 1931. The Times Cinema opened on June 12, 1935 in a building that previously housed a Pontiac dealership.

A theater entrepreneur by the name of Ben Marcus bought the Tosa as his first Milwaukee location in 1940, followed by the Times Cinema as well. These purchases began a legacy in the Milwaukee market which grew into Marcus Theatres becoming the dominant theater chain in the Milwaukee Metropolitan area.

Marcus Corporation sold the Times Cinema in the early 90's to Sandy Folaron, who then leased the theater to a variety of operators until selling it to Jay Hollis in 2005. Hollis then sold it to David Glazer on January 3, 2007.

In 1999, Marcus Corporation was going to sell the Tosa Cinema to the Amethyst Group, headed by Elizabeth Figuroa and Jim Farr of Mequon, Wisconsin. (Read the Journal article about the sale) According to this article in the Wauwatosa Patch, the theater was sold at a sherriff's auction to Jay Hollis in 1999, and he opened it as the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse on December 17, 1999. After years of battling with Marcus over showing first-run movies (which was reportedly against the terms of the original sale), Hollis sold the Rosebud to David Glazer in 2007.

(If you have more details about the timelines for these theaters, please let us know so that we can fill in the blanks and provide more history for these two long-lasting theaters)

Photo of the Times CinemaThe single-screen Times Cinema has the distinction of being the only Translux theater in Milwaukee. This was a process where the projector was located behind the screen instead of at the back of the theater. This configuration did not last long, as the advent of CinemaScope in the 50's made the Translux system unworkable. The Times offered classic movies and other selections that were not available anywhere else in the Milwaukee market.

The single-screen Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse had an interesting seating configuration in its later years, with dozens of couches taking the place of traditional theater seating. This created a very casual atmosphere that was unique in the area. While it played first-run movies, it also hosted special presentations, like Mary Poppins: The Sing-Along, which wasn't well attended when I took my family to see it there a few years ago, but it was still fun nonetheless.

Do you have memories of the Times and Rosebud?

Feel free to leave your comments here, or on the Reader Comments pages for the Times Cinema and Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse, so that future readers will know what it was like to attend these theaters!

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