Uptown Theatre

1430 Washington Avenue,
Racine, WI 53403

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Showing 26 - 50 of 52 comments

Patsy
Patsy on March 8, 2006 at 12:12 pm

cbennett5: Glad to read that someone wants to write a story at the Uptown/Majestic so I hope that it will find its way to CT and this link, in time. Thanks.

cbennett5
cbennett5 on March 8, 2006 at 11:55 am

unfogged eyes, please contact me. I’m with The Journal Times in Racine and want to write about the Uptown.
Thanks.

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on March 4, 2006 at 7:32 am

I have maxed out the upload capacity on Flickr, so next month I will be adding the rest of the shots taken at the Theatre.

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on March 4, 2006 at 7:12 am

I honestly wouldn’t be shocked at all if they abandoned the website like they did the theatre. If I am not mistaken the “Official Website” was originally created by a man who had the theatre on land contract. I could be wrong but talking to the most current owners, they had nothing to do with it, and they have had legal possession for close to 20 years. So I am told. The building has been for sale and whatnot for years. Different business people come and go with big dreams for the building and get land contracts. So far all have failed to restore the theatre. One man even went as far as to hold a fundraiser for restoration, and as soon as the money was in his hands he left town. Legal actions were taken against him, but it is just sad that it had come down to that. People that live in the area have given up on the old girl for the most part. I guess after years and years of neglect and abuse, people have let go of the realistic dreams the theatre once had.

Patsy
Patsy on March 4, 2006 at 5:16 am

I’m still trying to bring up the official website for the Majestic, but am still having trouble.

Patsy
Patsy on March 4, 2006 at 5:12 am

unfogged: Thank you! Though some of the photos are dark I clicked on them all to enlarge and could see the mural photos rather well as I could make out a couple of the figurines and then looked back at the artist’s rendering to compare. Such a shame that this theatre was left to deteriorate over the many years. I’ve seen more than a few dirty theatre seats covered in dust since becoming a member of CT so these didn’t shock me…they just made me sad.

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on March 3, 2006 at 12:42 pm

I have posted more photos at the Flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/photos/29028786@N00/
the mural ones still came out dark, but it was the best I could manage. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Patsy
Patsy on March 3, 2006 at 5:27 am

unfogged: Thanks in regards to a mural photo(s).

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on March 2, 2006 at 5:09 pm

The area that the theatre is in is called Uptown Racine, so after the theatre went out of commercial business, running movies and plays, it was renamed Uptown Theatre/Apartments do to new ownership.
The pictures taken of the mural in the actual theatre came out really dark due to lack of lighting, so on my next visit out I will try to get better shots worth posting.

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 2:46 pm

Also I’d like to compare the artist’s rendition for restoration plans to what it looks like today especially the colorful scene above the stage area. And why was the name changed from Majestic to Uptown?

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 2:41 pm

unfogged: Thanks for the flickr.com site and hopefully in the near future we can view more particularly the interior.

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on March 2, 2006 at 2:08 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29028786@N00/

Hopefully this link will lead to some photos taken recently… more will be added later on.

Patsy
Patsy on February 24, 2006 at 11:28 am

unfogged eyes: Thanks so much as I find this theatre of CT interest! I’m sure CT member, Jim Rankin who resides in nearby Milwaukee probably knows about this theatre and much of its history.

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on February 24, 2006 at 9:55 am

The theatre doesn’t have an official working website that I am aware of unfortunately. I am getting ready to take some pictures of the place as it is today, to be compared to the artist’s rendering. I think the artwork is beautiful, but what is actually left today is nothing more than just sad. I will make all of the current photos of the theatre available online, once they are online I will post a link on here showing you where you can view them if you are interested.

Patsy
Patsy on February 24, 2006 at 9:19 am

Does this theatre having a working official website as the one listed doesn’t seem to work? And the artist’s rendering is beautiful!

Patsy
Patsy on February 24, 2006 at 9:17 am

unfogged eyes: Interesting to note that this theatre was built “with them” which included phones connected to the dressing room area though sad to read about the overall condition of the theatre and of these 8 apartments. The phrase…..“if walls could talk” comes to mind!

Patsy
Patsy on February 24, 2006 at 9:10 am

unfogged eyes: Thanks for the apartment explanation and old style phone information as it just sounded, to me, like it was a different set up than the theatre being built ‘around rental properties’. What a unique blue print to house the actors/actresses during the play season though sad to read the conditon of these apartments today. The phase….“if walls could talk” comes to mind!

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on February 24, 2006 at 9:02 am

True, some were built around rental properties, but this one was built with them. There is a difference. If you go down to the local Historical Museum in Racine, you can veiw the blue prints for the building. The Historical Society says that the building was built with 8 apartments to house the actors/actresses during the play season. Another interesting tid-bit is that the apartments have old style phones that all connect down to the dressing room area if you follow the lines.

popcorn221
popcorn221 on February 24, 2006 at 6:24 am

Most theatres were built around rental properties. This is nothing unusal.

Patsy
Patsy on February 24, 2006 at 5:14 am

Why does this theatre have apartments?

popcorn221
popcorn221 on January 26, 2006 at 6:55 am

I am interested in this theatre. Would unfogged eyes please email me at

unfoggedeyes
unfoggedeyes on January 14, 2006 at 3:38 am

Nothing at all is going on. Everyone keeps saying “restore, restore, restore,” but the reality of it all is that it is estimated to cost over 3 million dollars just to get the ground work done. Take into mind the buildings current condition… foundation is falling apart, the plumbing throughout the building needs to be replaced, the electrical wiring needs to be updated including in the apartments, the apartments run on out-of-date circuit breakers, all of the apartments need newer appliances (half of the refrigerators don’t function properly), the entire roof needs to be replaced, there is extensive water damage in the lower theatre and also in both of the stores below, the plaster decorative molding in the theatre have mostly been pried from the walls, the original seats have been chiseled from the floor and stolen, the rooftop space in the “Courtyard” needs extensive repair due to being ill-maintained. The list of problems goes on and on.

The sad reality is that out of the eight apartments, only a couple legally are inhabitable. Apartment 1 has a huge hole in the kitchen floor, and the bathroom plumbing is leaking causing water damage in the store below. Apartment 2 has a toilet which leaks at the base causing further water damage in the store below, also half of the outlets are working, the refrigerator is malfunctioning, the patio has holes in it where rain and snow build up cause even more water damage to the store below, not to mention the fascia board by the gutter work needs to be replaced, when it snows or rains the bedroom window rains on the inside. Apartment 3 needs new cooking gas valves, they are without a stove, and the marquee under the street side windows leaks extensively when it rains. Apartments 4 suffered smoke damage from a fire, the walls were not properly cleaned, just repainted, and the smell of soot is lingering, from the fire fighter’s dousing the flames, the extensive water damaged the walls and went wall right down into the second store below, the plumbing for the shower and tub needs to be fixed and the light fixture needs to be replaced in the bedroom, it of course is not in working condition. Apartment 5 also needs bathroom plumbing to be fixed because it leaks into the second store right below causing water damage. Apartment 7 needs the electrical wiring to be redone because only two out of 8 outlets work. And finally Apartment 8, this is the worst of all … the stove doesn’t work, the refrigerator needs to be replaced, there is no hot water to speak of in the kitchen, only one outlet works in the living room, the wall of the first bedroom needs to be tuck-pointed due to moisture getting through holes in the brick and mortar causing the inner wall and the outer wall to separate when it hits freezing temperatures, there are plumbing issues in the bathroom and there are also major roof problems above this apartment.

So are you still wondering whatever happened to this old beauty? It has truly turned into a run-down slum. The only profit is coming from the apartments, and that is not reliable, since the turnover rate here is high. Not many people will put up with the living conditions. The restoration idea is wonderful, but this building is a bigger monster than one might think.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 27, 2005 at 2:49 pm

Wow! I had no idea something like this was going on up in Racine. The official web site is not working, however. Anybody know what is happening these days?

Suwanti
Suwanti on May 18, 2005 at 2:22 am

What a good news.

Greeting from a lonely cinema researcher in Hong Kong.

TwistedSMFer
TwistedSMFer on September 20, 2004 at 12:00 pm

I live right above this theatre and, although beautiful, is in need of major restoration. It doesn’t look anything like the drawing and I dought it will ever look like that. And at the rate that the restoration group is going, I wouldn’t anticipate full restoration on this theatre for a while.