16-screen “Movie Palace” for Milwaukee?
MILWAUKEE, WI — Lou Rugani of Kenosha Wis., was kind enough to send me this notice from a local paper. Whether one could call this to-be-built complex of screens wth a raucous lobby of “entertainment” a “Movie Palace” is up to the observer, but I guess it is good for this ritzy suburb of Milwaukee. Double Grande Staircases? Something tells me they won’t be of marble, but at least there is more attention to decor. I wonder if they will have lines of different color LEDs in the carpeting to help one find his screening room among the 16?! All they will be missing is a platoon of ushers to keep the vastness under control. And no mention of digital projection, hmmmmm. Still I give them my Best Wishes, even though they do still own one of the most glorious true movie palaces in the Midwest; the former WARNER, now called the GRAND in downtown Milw., now sitting dark, low these eleven years now with little effort by Marcus to re-program and reopen it. I guess their definition of ‘movie palace’ has changed. Jim Rankin, Milwaukee
Marcus theaters Corp., a division of Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp., is making the dinner-and-a-movie date a one-destination affair. Marcus announced Thursday it will break ground July 12 on The Majestic, a 16-screen movie theater complex in the town of Brookfield that will include an Italian cafe, a coffee and ice cream shop, a lounge and an auditorium for live performances and meetings.
The new Majestic Cinema in Brookfield will be the first of its kind in our circuit and completely unique in the United States, Bruce Olson, president of Marcus Theatres, said in a statement. The Majestic will be more than a movie theater, with an Italian cafe serving freshly made-to-order pizza and sandwiches.
Olson added that the cafes are not just for moviegoers, and that parents would be able to stop in while waiting to pick up their kids without having to buy a ticket for a movie.
Two of the theaters 16 auditoriums will feature 72-foot-wide UltraScreens, typically used to show blockbuster films.
The multi-use auditorium, called the Palladium, will offer a menu, table seating and wait service and will host films, concerts, comedy shows and sporting events, as well as special events and business meetings. Adjacent to the auditorium will be the Palladium Lounge, which will serve alcoholic beverages.
A very small number of theaters include lounges and restaurants, but The Majestic will be the first in the country [i doubt this.—Jim] to combine restaurants, a multi-use venue and large UltraScreens into one elegant entertainment destination, said Olson.
Alcoholic beverages will not be permitted outside of the lounge or Palladium areas, he added.
Other amenities at The Majestic will include automated kiosks for tickets and concessions, a concierge service and valet parking. Every auditorium will feature stadium seating with wide, memory-foam cushion seats that with rock or recline, more legroom than any other theater in the area, wall-to-wall curved screens, and digital sound.
Olson painted the picture of the Majestic as an upscale movie palace.
One of the first things our guests will notice will be the striking
porte cochere, a canopied entry and drop-off area that will shelter them from inclement weather, he said. Once inside, guests will enter the grand lobby, with its high, domed ceilings, relaxing music from the baby grand piano and movie previews. Local choral groups and high school jazz ensembles will also perform in the lobby. Two dramatic curving grand staircases will invite people to our UltraScreens and mezzanine area, where function rooms will be available for private events such as birthday parties.
The Majestic will be built adjacent to Sams Club on Springdale Road, north of Blue Mound Road, and is expected to open next spring. It will serve as a replacement for two neighboring Marcus cinemas, Westown in Waukesha which operates one UltraScreen and West Point, which is located just east of Westown on Blue Mound in the town of Brookfield.
Marcus plans to sell the Westown and West Point sites to offset the cost of The Majestic. Gander Mountain Company of St. Paul, Minn., an outdoor lifestyle retailer, has already expressed its interest in the Westown site and is currently seeking approval from the city of Waukesha.
Marcus is the ninth largest theater circuit in the country and currently owns or operates 501 screens at 44 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. Two other Marcus Theatres are currently under construction in Green Bay and Sturtevant.