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I remember filling in for the full time projectionist vacation at this theatre. It was nice. I was showing Lady & the Tramp that week and the cinemascope was large and sharp. Still had the reel to reel changeovers and the carbon arcs. I think the manager was Sherry at the time. It must have closed sometime in ‘81 if I remember correctly.
Always heart wrenching to see a once beautiful theatre succumb to years of decay and abandonment like most of the palaces standing vacant today.
Drove past the Avalon (4/21) today doing business in the area and the theatre looked dismal! The marquee,what’s left of it, was all broken up, the glass entry doors are boarded up with a black painted piece of wood and the display cases are broken and the light sockets within them are exposed. So, is the Avalon totally abandoned now? Certainly not the same as the picture Chuck1231 shared with us a year ago! Heart rendering :(
Drove past the Paradise Theatre today (7/6/2010) and I saw people on the roof re-taring & repairing the roof. A good sign! The church marquee was removed and looks like some activity going on there. I’m not sure if the property went out of foreclosure or not or if there is a new owner?
I was certainly hoping that someone would have an exterior photo of this theatre before it was razed in the early 70’s. The National was considered to be the most lavish of the “Atmospherics” in the city.
Hi all, what has been happening in regards to the Venetian since the deadline of Feb. 5th?? Funding, grants??
Thanks Tim for the excellent information!! You put alot of time and effort into it :)
Hi Jim, Is this local man forming a legit or unauthorized entrance.
Well anyways, I’ll go for the gusto. Put me on the list. I’m very saddened to hear the news, but it was inevitable. Very depressing to say the least. Goodbye Venetian!
The whole thing with the Venetian is saving the last of the atmospheric’s and I mean last because there is NO activity going
on with the Avalon either! I was talking with a friend the other night and he said to me, ‘Why don’t you buy the dang building’ from the city (when it becomes available). The city would be happy.. Patch the roof and let it mellow some more as you form a co-op of some sort. I wanted to chuckle at his presentation but I’m keeping
a very close eye on the Venetian situation.
I had the opportunity to visit this great megaplex during my
spring break of 2005. It was truly awe inspiring. If I remembered
correctly, I saw Assault on Precinct 13.
PS. Donâ€™t remember any drug dealings tho.
Hello Allâ€"I found the BEST picture of the Venetianâ€™s concession
stand that Larry Widen had contributed to a book in 1993! So I emailed Larry tonight to verify the photograph, only because the book identified the picture as â€œFoxâ€™s Venetian in Milwaukeeâ€ were I thought it was always owned by the Universal film chain when it was operating as a movie house.
He told me it was owned by numerous owners, which would make sense.
He also said it was okay to link the picture :)
Iâ€™m going to guess that the picture was taken from the late 30â€™s or in the 40â€™s because I donâ€™t think there were â€œfixedâ€ concession stands before the mid 1930â€™s??
Anyways, the photograph is breathtaking and the picture comes in two
flavors 800x600 or 1024x768. I will be hosting this photograph.
Email mission accomplished. Surely, my invitation goes out to anyone
who wants to participate in our upcoming event, â€œLetâ€™s Walk Around in
the Venetianâ€ tour. Iâ€™ll supply hot coffee, hard hats and the cop :)
First, Iâ€™d like to respond to your Jan 14, 2005 post in regards to â€œentering the building in a legal manner, with hardhats)â€. If you can find a way let me know. My bro-in-law is a Milwaukee cop so safe escorting services will not be a problem.
I started as a union projectionist in 1979 working full-time at the Uptown Theatre for about a year. After that, I worked as a “relief” projectionist for 8 months working at such theatres as the Villa, Oriental, Downer, Ruby Isle, Mayfair and the Times Cinema (when it was a Marcus Theatre). My friend Eric is now running the Times, since the early 90â€™s and operated the Avalon Theatre in the late 80â€™s.
I was then moved to a â€œpermanentâ€ theatre in Fox Point (Brown Port Theatre) where I worked as a full-time projectionist for almost 12 years. The theatre was purchased by United Artists in 1991 and â€œlocked-outâ€ the union guy (me) thus ending my career as a projectionist. Had some great times running the movies at the older houses.
This was the first theatre I worked at as a union projectionist in 1979. At that time, the theatre was charging $1.00 for second run movies along with a midnight show on Friday nights, if I remembered correctly. United Artist was already anticipating closure. There
was virtually no audience, maybe 10 patrons per night and a little busier at the midnight show.
The building was still in pretty good shape. The vending stand had been maintained to its original appeal, however, the auditorium was dimly lit most of the time. The projection booth was equipped with two Simplex XL projectors and two Peerless carbon lamp houses. It got bloody hot in the booth during summertime and I remembered the temperature rising, probably over the 105 degree mark.
I worked there for about a year until I moved to a more â€œpermanentâ€ theatre in Fox Point. I guess when I worked at the Uptown Theatre, I was unappreciative of the stature of working a â€œmovie palaceâ€, but today, I feel privileged that I did :)
I became intrigued about the VENTIAN after reading Larry Widenâ€™s book
â€œMilwaukee Movie Palacesâ€ and decided to â€œriskâ€ a trip down to Center Street. After turning onto Center from Sherman Boulevard I immediately saw that beautiful ominous building as I drove east on Center Street.
As mentioned in previous post, the roof is falling in, the front of the building is boarded up. I drove around the block â€œnervouslyâ€ to see the rest of the structure. The building had been spray/graffiti painted. Old tires were piled up in back of exit doors. I was going to take pictures with my digital camera but became uncomfortable while being in the area.
I couldnâ€™t help think how beautiful it must have been to walk into the Venetian when it was a theatre before it closed in the early 50â€™s. I felt happy just to see a time in history and saddened as I drove away knowing that this once beautiful atmospheric movie palace will soon fall victim the wreaking ball. Rest in peace.
I was a union projectionist in Milwaukee from 1979 to 1992. And to work the Venetian would have been a blast!