Cinema 1

121 E. Wisconsin Avenue,
Appleton, WI 54911

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The Varsity Theater was opened around 1942. While small, it had two balconies, one regular balcony and one that was glassed in that we called “the crying room” for mothers with babies. The Varsity Theatre was still open in 1956. It was later renamed Cinema 1.

Contributed by dave kalz

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

OakCreekmovielady
OakCreekmovielady on July 11, 2016 at 10:29 pm

The Varsity became the Cinema 1 in December 1968. The theater had been purchased by the Marcus Theaters group and underwent some remodeling. It became a $1.50 discount theater circa 1982 and closed in 1986. The Cinema 1 in later years was known for its sticky floors (candy, spilled soda).

Around the time Cinema 1 closed Marcus used it’s parking lot to build a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant (Marcus' restaurant division at the time had the franchise rights for Wisconsin). A few years later the Cinema 1 was demolished.

OakCreekmovielady
OakCreekmovielady on July 11, 2016 at 10:31 pm

I’m in search of information about this theater’s days when it was known as the Varsity. Who owned it? When did it open, and why was it shuttered for a while in 1968.

OakCreekmovielady
OakCreekmovielady on July 11, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Around 1980 Marcus Theaters quietly remodeled the balconies into office space and used it as it’s Fox Cities regional offices for its Appleton-Neenah-Little Chute area theaters and drive ins.

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