Help Landmark the Avalon Before It’s Too Late!

posted by JimRankin on February 23, 2004 at 3:27 pm

MILWAUKEE, WI — A meeting will be held next week to seek local landmark designation for the memorable Avalon Theater, according to the e-mail below and the Avalon’s page here on Cinema Treasures.

If you can be there to advocate for it and to place it in the context of remaining movie palaces nationwide, it will be a good deed you do! The city needs to see that it has a greater value, and only us theater buffs can supply that significance.

Here is the email:

From: “dokasc”

A resolution designating the Avalon Theater at 2469-83 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., a historic structure will be heard before ZND [Zoning And Development/Landmarks committee of the Common Council] on Wed. Feb. 25 at 9:00 A.M., room 301-b, [third floor, end of south corridor]City Hall, 200 E. Wells. St. [across the street from the PABST theatre]

This is Milwaukee’s last remaining example of an atmospheric theater. It is the first theater in WI. to be built for the new “talking” and “sound” pictures.

The theater is a major work of a prominent local architect, Russell Barr Williamson. Best known for his Prairie Style residential designs another prominent commercial work in addition to the theater was the Eagles Club on W. Wisconsin Avenue [at 24th St.].

The owner of this building has objected to the theater being preserved in its present state. He has requested the organ society to remove the theater organ from the building.

Your presence is needed to save this theater. If you do not wish to speak you are still important [the room has seats for about 30, so come early! It is likely to be televised on the local cable channel 26]. Come and show your support for this very significant example of Milwaukee’s history.

Donna Schlieman

You can phone, write the alderwoman for the Avalon, Susan Brier, at: City Hall, 200 E. Wells St. Milwaukee, WI 53201 or call (414) 286-2221 during Central Time business hours.

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