Plaza Theatre

518 N. Main Street,
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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rivest266 on January 22, 2017 at 6:48 am

November 23rd, 1927 (Fischer), June 13th, 1929 (Strand), December 24th, 1952 (Raulf), March 27th, 1968 (Plaza) grand opening ads can be found in the photo section for this cinema.

Found on

rivest266 on January 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm

The June 13th, 1929 grand opening ad as Strand can be found in the photo section for this cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

I don’t think the auditorium building was actually demolished. It appears to have been gutted and filled with floors, and windows were punched in the side walls. If you move Street View three clicks south, you can see the side of the building across the parking lot. Even the stage house is still standing.

atmos on December 11, 2012 at 6:14 am

A website on downtown Oshkosh states that is became the Strand in 1930,Raulf 1953 and Plaza 1968 and was demolished in 1979.The site is now occupied by Mainview Apartments.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

We need to find a modern address for the Plaza Theatre. Oshkosh renumbered the lots on Main Street in 1957, and the former 200 block became the modern 500 block. The address of The Magnet, a billiard parlor across the street from the former entrance of The Plaza, is 519 N. Main. The address of Mainview Apartments, which appears the be the former entrance to the Raulf Hotel, is 530 N. Main. I would guess that the theater entrance, which was at the south end of the hotel’s frontage, was approximately at modern address 518 N. Main.

Street View needs to be reset, too. It currently shows the Time Theatre, in the modern 400 block of Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

The grand opening ad Mike Rivest linked to says that the Fischer Theatre was designed by the Milwaukee architectural firm Chas. J. Keller & Son.

Frank W. Fischer’s circuit was a regional affiliate of Paramount Pictures, Fischer-Paramount Theatres.

The style of the theater was Spanish-Atmospheric.

rivest266 on September 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

1968 plaza theatre logo is at View link

rivest266 on September 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

December 24th, 1952 ad (ad Raulf) is at View link

rivest266 on September 19, 2010 at 9:07 am

7-page Grand opening ad as Fischer from November 23rd, 1927 can been seen at

LouisRugani on August 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

(The Daily Northwestern, Friday, November 18, 1927)
Officials of Raulf and Fischer Companies Visit Oshkosh to Arrange Details

With but a few days remaining before the opening of the beautiful new Fischer theater, officials of the Raulf company, the architectural firm and the theatrical company paid a visit to Oshkosh Thursday, to arrange the final details. Included in the party were Charles Raulf, Frank Fischer and Clarence Keller.

They declared that the progress on the theater had been even more rapid than they had expected and that there is not the slightest doubt as to the theater opening at the scheduled time.
So sure are the workmen, employed in putting in the finishing details at the building, that thousands of dollars have been wagered by them that tne theater will be completed in time for the formal opening.


Mr. Fischer declared that arrangements have been made with Carl Laemmle, former Oshkosh man, now head of the Universal Pictures corporation, so that a picture just being completed at Universal City will be rushed to Oshkosh for the opening. The picture, he stated, is now in the cutting room at the studio and will be sent to Milwaukee by airplane, arriving there Monday. It will be exhibited in no other city prior to its showing in Oshkosh, and, in fact, will be seen here thirty days before it is released to any other theater, he declared. This was made possible only because of Mr. Laemmle’s interest in his “old home town.”

Work on the interior of the theater is being pushed rapidly and already the show house has taken on the beautiful appearance that will greet the theatergoers at the opening next Wednesday.


The placing of the seats is also being accomplished in a rapid manner. While much is to be done before the doors will be thrown open Wednesday, day and evening shifts will work every day until next week.

The interior throughout promises to be one of beauty and attractive with its brilliant coloring and atmospheric effects, and Oshkosh citizens are looking forward to the opportunity of visiting the new motion picture palace with a considerable amount of interest.

LouisRugani on August 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

(May 17, 1937)
Kenosha, Wis. â€" William Exton, theater manager, reported to Kenosha police today that three stranded actors, two women and a man, whom he was “giving a lift” to Chicago, beat him up and drove away with his car four miles south wf Waukegan. Chicago police found the car abandoned.
Exton reported that the trio had thrown him in a ditch. He hitched a ride back to Kenosha on a truck. (Mr. Exton. victim of the incident in the story from Kenosha, is a former Oshkosh man, having served as manager of the Strand theater about two and a half years ago.)

kencmcintyre on October 2, 2008 at 7:08 pm

It was the Raulf in 1963 as part of Marcus Theaters.

edwilke on October 16, 2007 at 1:43 pm

I just added some drawings of the interior of the Fischer Theater to my account. The drawings are from the Oshkosh Northwestern (November 23, 1927).

edwilke on September 11, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Here is a PDF file about The Raulf Hotel/Strand Theater. The theater was also called the Plaza Theater until it closed in 1981. It was then converted into housing units.

View link

kencmcintyre on September 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

Paging Lost Memory – a little help with the organ question here?

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 11, 2007 at 9:33 am

Ed Wilke could perhaps check this out, he dosen’t live to far from Oshkosh. I have an address of 522 North Main Street? The building was built in 1927 and the Strand opened in 1928. The building is a Neo-Gothic style, features glazed terra cotta tracery and Jacobean and Tudor elements. It was the citys leading movie palace. It was named the Raulf Theatre in the 1950’s and the Plaza in 1967. It finaly closed in 1986. Shortly afterward the theatre space was converted to housing units as part of a complete rehabilitation of the hotel. Each summer I would go to the BIG Expermintal Aircraft Association Fly-In at Oshkosh and it must have been about ‘86 or '87 that I could see the solid brick wall of the auditorium because either low buildings or a parking lot are to the south of theatre. Anyway I could see construction workers breaking through the brick to put in windows. I haven’t been up to Oshkosh since 1990, but I woud guess it still stands. It might still be a hotel, but I think it might be apartments, perhaps for senior citizens? I wonder if it had a Barton Theatre Pipe Organ in it, seeing that Bartons were built in Oshkosh?

“Gee dad it was a BARTON!”