Grand Cinemas 1 & 2

212 W. Wisconsin Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53203

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spectrum
spectrum on September 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The website for the Grand Warner Trust is:

http://grandwarnertheatretrust.org/

The theatre itself has a Facebook page with some recent interior photos at:

https://www.facebook.com/grandwarner

The Facebook page has a lot more recent news and postings. Unfortunately the Trust’s webpage doesn’t have much recent news – the trust was formed in 2008 according to their webpage. From the photos at the Facebook site, the interior looks in excellent shape and is quite ornate – looks like it’s the original color scheme!

bbdoll4ever
bbdoll4ever on January 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

sdowns: Ever think of transferring your copy of Paul Wesley’s last organ concert recorded at the Warner/Grand (“Midnight At The Center”) to a digital file to share with the masses? I’d love to hear it in all its grandeur!

mheaton
mheaton on September 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

The GRAND-WARNER THEATRE TRUST – was formed and chartered this past year and they have been working with the parties that be to make this happen. As of this writing there is a schedule of meetings with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra about a possible collaboration (they have been interested in two previous projects over the past 12 years.) This month of Sept. may see some movement.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

A Kimball Theater Pipe Organ Opus KPO 6944, 6945, 6946, 3/28, manual/rank, keyboards/sets of pipes was installed in the Warner in 1931. It had thousands of pipes in three chambers, two on the left side and one on the right. The console was on the left in the orchestra pit and was on a worm screw lift that could rise to stage level by a push button. In 1973 when the theatre was twined the organ was to be removed. Paul Wesley gave one last concert. A LP recording was made “Midnight At The Center”. The organ was donated to the Milwaukee Trade and Technical High School for installation in the school’s auditorium, but it was decided that it would be impossible to fit such a large instrument into the available space. The Kimball Theatre Organ Society (KTOS) was formed in 1979 for the purpose of saving the organ from eventual sale. After many years of rebuilding and restoration and greatly enlarged, the Kimball again started playing again at the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee in 1991.

W.W. KIMBALL COMPANY, THE WORLD’S LARGEST PIANO AND ORGAN MANUFACTURER AT CERTAIN TIMES IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES.

(1828-1904), Maine, William Wallace Kimball born. 1857, Chicago, W.W. Kimball Company was founded. Offices were at 239-253 Wabash Avenue Southwest corner of Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. The factory was at South Rockwell Street and 26th Street, Chicago. 1877, they began assembling Kimball Reed Organs. 1882, they were producing 15,000 organs a year, the world’s largest organ maker! 1900, had 1,500 employees. 1910’s, made 13,000 pianos a year. 1922, stopped making reed organs, they had produced 403,390 reed organs! Late 1800’s to 1930’s, world’s largest piano manufacturer. 1942, pipe organ division closed down 7,326 pipe organs had been built, they had also made portable pipe organs. World War II, William Wallace Kimball Jr. was in charge. They manufactured needed war items for Boeing Aircraft, Douglas Aircraft and Lockheed Aircraft. 1961, they started making the first electronic or rather electric organs. 1960’s & 1970’s, they made 100,000 pianos and organs annually. 1983, stopped making organs. February 1996, the last Kimball grand piano was signed by every worker and company executive, and remains on display at Kimball’s showroom in Jasper, Indiana. Now Kimball International and Kimball Electronics. Makes furniture and electronics gizmos.

blurradial
blurradial on July 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Am I tooting my own horn? I am: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2013/06/12/we-want-to-save-the-warner/

*I’ll also be taping an interview segment on WUWM (Bonnie North, Lake Effect) with the Grand Warner Trust guys tomorrow, will likely air next week.

warnergrand
warnergrand on January 24, 2013 at 4:57 am

A Trust has been set up to purchase and restore the Warner Grand. Facebook page is active. Please “like” http://www.facebook.com/grandwarner

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on November 3, 2012 at 4:57 am

The marquee is now lit up at night, bringing a splash of color to the downtown scene. I’ve added a picture of the ticket booth, which has someone in it during the day to distribute literature to tourists.

tisha
tisha on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 am

I remember in the 80’s my sister use to take me to this movie theatre. The cost was around maybe $3.50-$6.75. I remember standing in line to see Purple Rain. It played for six months straight. My sister and I watched Grelims there. When I was old enough I went to that theatre by myself. I’ve seen Tremors and Five Heartbeats there. So many memories. I wish they would at least open up the theatre for one more go round. Watch two movies for the price of one. It’s just a thought!!!

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on October 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

i had the chance to look around this theatre recently. I have some photos (i am not much of a photog, clearly) here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/68845915@N06/sets/72157627927062486/with/6258821589/

The place is in very nice shape inside. But I would bet the farm that it never reopens.

William
William on August 3, 2011 at 6:17 am

The Warner Theatre in Milwaukee opened on May 1st. 1931.

curiousmoviebuff
curiousmoviebuff on June 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

Does anyone here know the correct contact info for this theatre? Is it still available for rentals? Have they begun the planned renovations yet?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Nice ads Mike,thanks for getting them on.Two PG pictures equal decent Boxoffice.

mgriffin189
mgriffin189 on November 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I am also glad that mheaton is working on saving this theater. I frequently drive by it on my commute to and from UWM ( I like side streets) and would love to see it reopened so everyone can enjoy a great venue and great architecture. It’s sad to see it sitting there empty. About a month ago a weather forcast appeared on the marquee. this was followed a few days later by a happy birthday message. does anyone know anything about this? Anyway, I really hope that mheaton’s group succeeds in restoring this theater. They don’t build em like this anymore.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Grand opening ad for Warner
View link

rivest266
rivest266 on October 10, 2010 at 11:35 am

Grand opening ad for the Centre Twin from December 20th, 1973 is at
View link

dunverrich
dunverrich on August 9, 2010 at 10:40 am

I am so glad to hear that mheaton is working on saving The Grand Theater. Back in 2005, Marcus Corporation graciously let us use the theater for the short movie Moviebonics. It was a great experience to spend several weeks in the theater. We shot on the second floor lobby, which doubled for the living room of a cinematically obsessed couple in the movie. In fact in your myspace video, you can see the 2nd floor lobby, which we spent days cleaning, including the glass light fixtures. We also left a message to Marcus thanking them for the use of the theater on the Marquee in the lobby. Your video reveals that it has been taken down since then. We have several photos of the set at http://www.moviebonics.com Our short is on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ORU_TZZaSU Hope you enjoy it. I too would like to offer some assistance as well to the cause of restoring the theater. I can be contacted through the moviebonics website. Good Luck.

mjonthemove
mjonthemove on July 7, 2010 at 4:43 am

Great info. Please keep me informed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Great stories to read.

GreatEscape
GreatEscape on May 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Mheaton – I would love it if you could contact me as well. I am very interested in hearing what your plans on renovation all entail with this theatre. My email address is I think I may be able to be of some assistance as well!

Thanks

mfdrozewski49
mfdrozewski49 on March 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

Mheaton-Please contact me. I have the solution to your request in your post of Nov. 29th.

mheaton
mheaton on February 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

View link

The Grand-Warner Theater – Milwaukee – some old footage plus new footage as of January 2010. Watch for new web site and facebook postings coming soon on this web site.

mheaton
mheaton on January 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

sdowns, Yes we talked with Marcus corp. on Jan. 5 and found out the situation for purchase (it is for sale). After some further talks we were able to get into the theater on Thur. Jan. 7 . We had only a two hour notice otherwise I would have posted here for anyone interested. We did a brief evaluation of the current condition with some rehab experts.
We have formed a 501-c-3 non-profit org. in order to purchase and preserve (like the Pabst Mansion or the Minneapolis Schubert Theater). We have some funding lined up already. Later, we will be announcing meetings for anyone interested in supporting this.

sdowns
sdowns on January 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

mheaton, did the meeting you spoke for in early January ever take place, what was the outcome??

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 4, 2010 at 6:29 am

warner22.jpg is my favorite. A classic lounge with plastic 70’s chair in the corner. Looks seriously uncomfortable.

redfishpaw
redfishpaw on January 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Also, here is an earlier photo set taken by myself
with the twinning still intact:

Repost:
Here are 27 interior photos which I took in 1995 (at closing).
These were scanned and first appeared online in Sept 2006.
http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/warner
posted by redfishpaw on Oct 23, 2006 at 9:51am