Pabst Theater

144 E. Wells Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on November 12, 2015 at 12:39 pm

No. That event was held at the Milwaukee Theatre, a 4086 seat events venue that is part of the downtown Milwaukee Center District at 500 W. Kilbourn. Website: http://milwaukeetheatre.com/categories/4-milwaukeetheatre

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Is this where the recent republican debate was held?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

The design of the rebuilt Pabst Theatre following the fire of 1895 is attributed to architect Otto Strack. A late 1920s remodeling was designed by Milwaukee theater specialists Dick & Bauer.

LouRugani
LouRugani on November 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I’ve posted some rare photos of the PABST wearing its late lamented vertical sign.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Very nice, longest header I have seen on any C.T. site,will read the whole thing when I have more time.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham filmed his Christmas Special in the historic Pabst Theatre.
It is currently in rotation on the Comedy Central Network, and slated for DVD release on Nov.18th 2008.
There are many tilts & pans of the Pabst Theatre’s classic interior within the show.
He opens his show citing the Pabst Theatre’s Vaudeville history.

DavidHurlbutt
DavidHurlbutt on October 8, 2007 at 6:18 am

In the streetcar era the #10 which took workers to the factories in suburban West Allis and commuters home to Wauwatosa stopped outside of the Pabst. Many streetcar riders were sheltered from the rain and snow while they waited patiently under the Pabst’s canopy for the next car. Thus, these riders who may have never been in the Pabst knew where it was located and who was performing there.

Broan
Broan on October 7, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Recent photos of this theatre are HERE

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 10, 2006 at 2:07 pm

I walked around this theater last week. It looks great! I’m glad a few of these survive the wrecking ball.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on July 28, 2006 at 7:47 am

More of the same, Frankie? I just left you a reply to your comments to me on the Ramona page. Again, I sincerely suggest you read Cinema Treasures' “Terms of Use” to avoid receiving this kind of flak in the future. ‘Nuff said.

deleted user
[Deleted] on July 28, 2006 at 3:53 am

Sorry you feel this way about Frankie. That was not the case here. I have known Frankie for years and that is the last thing he wants to do is self-promotion. He is a God-fearing man who is very talented. And being a ‘former’ popsinger is just that. He doesn’t seek the limelight anymore but people are requesting him to sing more and more because he has such an incredible talent. Shame on you.
F Piper

JimRankin
JimRankin on July 27, 2006 at 7:34 pm

Mr Valens' strident self promotion might have been somewhat vindicated had he mentioned some connection with this theater: the Pabst, but there apparently is none. As it is therefore, it is just more time-wasting SPAM! I trust the Pabst will therefore see his double post as an indication of one who does not mind sullying other peoples' space, and hence a morality too low to grace the caliber of the Pabst. “Former Legend”? Hardly, but the operative word is ‘former.’

deleted user
[Deleted] on July 27, 2006 at 6:54 am

LEGENDARY FRANKIE VALENS 2006/2007 Oldies concert tour

B U L L E T I N – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “Book Frankie now – while there are concert dates open……..”

INTRODUCING,

Frankie Valens

Former legendary pop-singer FRANKIE VALENS, who toured in the late 60s and early 70s is back. Frankie has returned to provide entertainment with an ‘oldies’ show featuring songs from the 50s, 60s and early 70s and includes his recordings of “This Magic Moment,” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”

Visit www.frankievalens.com (complete with sounds bites)

Frankie loves to entertain the crowds. The crowds can dance or just listen to the ‘golden oldies’ sung by what has been described as the ‘golden voice’ of FRANKIE VALENS. Frankie’s wife Phyllis joins him in singing famous duet songs from the past.

Frankie has been in concert with such notable acts as: THE BYRDS, CRYSTAL GALE, THE PLATTERS AND THE BOXTOPS. Frankie has appeared at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City with former President Reagan; the Waupaka Performing Art Center in Wisconsin; and the famous Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas where Red Skelton appeared.

Note: Frankie Valens will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame later this year in Wichita, Kansas at the Museum of World Treasures, who is planning a musical exhibit and creating a special CD edition of Frankie’s greatest recordings.


BOOKING OLDIE CONCERTS FOR 2006/2007

Call 316-789-0051
Please call or e-mail us to let us know if any of these dates are available: 316-789-0051 or

From the offices of
FVM Headquarters
PMB # 322
620 N Rock Road, Ste 230
Derby, KS 67037

316-789-0051 or
913-378-6874
www.frankievalens.com

Frankie & Phyllis Valens

deleted user
[Deleted] on July 27, 2006 at 6:54 am

LEGENDARY FRANKIE VALENS 2006/2007 Oldies concert tour

B U L L E T I N – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “Book Frankie now – while there are concert dates open……..”

INTRODUCING,

Frankie Valens

Former legendary pop-singer FRANKIE VALENS, who toured in the late 60s and early 70s is back. Frankie has returned to provide entertainment with an ‘oldies’ show featuring songs from the 50s, 60s and early 70s and includes his recordings of “This Magic Moment,” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”

Visit www.frankievalens.com (complete with sounds bites)

Frankie loves to entertain the crowds. The crowds can dance or just listen to the ‘golden oldies’ sung by what has been described as the ‘golden voice’ of FRANKIE VALENS. Frankie’s wife Phyllis joins him in singing famous duet songs from the past.

Frankie has been in concert with such notable acts as: THE BYRDS, CRYSTAL GALE, THE PLATTERS AND THE BOXTOPS. Frankie has appeared at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City with former President Reagan; the Waupaka Performing Art Center in Wisconsin; and the famous Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas where Red Skelton appeared.

Note: Frankie Valens will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame later this year in Wichita, Kansas at the Museum of World Treasures, who is planning a musical exhibit and creating a special CD edition of Frankie’s greatest recordings.


BOOKING OLDIE CONCERTS FOR 2006/2007

Call 316-789-0051
Please call or e-mail us to let us know if any of these dates are available: 316-789-0051 or

From the offices of
FVM Headquarters
PMB # 322
620 N Rock Road, Ste 230
Derby, KS 67037

316-789-0051 or
913-378-6874
www.frankievalens.com

Frankie & Phyllis Valens

Patsy
Patsy on March 13, 2006 at 5:31 am

Jim: Thank you for your contributions on this link as it is one of the most beautiful theatres in the country and glad to read that it has been “lavishly” restored.

JimRankin
JimRankin on September 15, 2005 at 1:01 am

That photo linked by ‘lostmemory’ is post 1976 “restoration” but pre-2000 addition of a single story extension on the right to the east, off of the carriage lobby which had been the old ticket lobby on this the front facade, but since ‘89 the box office and ticket lobby is to the west, off of the rotunda of the Milwaukee Center office building. This Carriage Lobby is still used but as overflow from the original lobby. It has had a crystal chandelier added by new owner Mike Cudahy, but I believe the original ceramic tile floor remains. The ornate wrought iron railing atop the canopy with its gilded portions now wraps around the east side of the building atop the new addition. Pity that the photo crops out the gilded lyre and urns atop the right roofline above the gilded letters of PABST THEATER which date from 1895.

DavidHurlbutt
DavidHurlbutt on November 30, 2004 at 5:38 pm

In addition to its wonderful stage attractions, the Pabst did show movies. Yearly Burton Holmes, the man who is credited with inventing the travelogue, brought his film/lecture presentation to the Pabst. In the late 1940s THE STORY OF POPE PIUS was shown at the Pabst and for days its matinees were filled with school groups from the local parochial schools. Also in the 1940s Republic"s SPECTER OF THE ROSE was shown as a hard-ticket road show attratcion.
In 1977 Kitty Carlisle sang at the Pabst and part of her program included a showing of the Marx Brothers and Kitty Carlisle in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA on the giant screen. Once again laughter echoed from the balconies giving the audience a feeling of what is was like to see a movie classic in a crowded movie theater.

JimRankin
JimRankin on November 29, 2004 at 10:09 am

Whatever it is that defines a movie palace, the same general standards can often be used to define other such “palatial” theatres in the nation, if not also the world, even though they were not built for the purpose of movies. If you will forgive some local bias, I might nominate the palatial PABST in Milwaukee, which stands as a working National Historic Landmark to this day. It is well documented by its page on this site: /theaters/2753/
But it is best seen in this photo of the area above the proscenium: http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=11592
Surely this is some of the finest and most elaborate ornamentation in a theatre in the nation, and thus the palatial experience there is among the best still to be had. Their web site at: http://www.pabsttheater.org/history.lasso features other photos.

JimRankin
JimRankin on July 7, 2004 at 7:08 am

It should be mentioned that the PABST now has its own web site: www.PabstTheater.org

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 11, 2004 at 7:38 am

The experience of the PORT THEATRE (http://cinematreasures.org/news/11623_0_1_0_M/ )in its quest for listing on the National Register of Historic Places brought back to mind my own efforts over a year’s time in doing the research and writing of the application for National Historic Landmark designation for the PABST THEATER in Milwaukee back in 1990-91. True, it is by no means an easy task, but it is well worth it! The major criterion for National Registry listing is to prove historic significance to the area of the theatre. The major criterion for NATIONAL LANDMARK listing is to prove significance to the nation as a whole, as well as state and local significance. Yes, one often does start with his state historic sites officer, as detailed on the web site of the National Park Service which administers both programs. If one cannot get local and state backing, it is usually impossible to convince the feds of any real import of a theater; merely being old is not enough.

At the PABST, they had completed a 15-page Application for the National Register of Historic Places, following the city designating it a landmark in ‘72. But by 1990 it was evident that it would likely qualify for national recognition, and that such would bring the much needed contributions its way. I spent hurried months scanning the hundreds of documents and clippings in the 1895 theatre’s archive, and then months more scouring all other sources in the state, and finally ended up with some 20 pounds of copies of documents to send off to the Park Service, and these things are now preserved in the National Archives in Washington, as well as at the theater and at the main library in Milwaukee. In 1991 the Secretary of the Interior affixed his name and seal to the Designation of National Historic Landmark of the United States. When in 1995 the German-American legit theatre celebrated its Centennial, it was a pleasure to know that it was our long effort that culminated in that day being realized, and to this day, our 'blood, sweat and tears’ have preserved that wonderful venue against other threats and have garnered a new owner pledged by contract to maintain the landmark. Our guestbook there bulges with the words of praise of many notables as well as regular folk who value such a landmark and its future seems assured. PORT Theatre, don’t give up! (and be sure to anchor your plaque in such a way that metal scavengers can’t easily remove it some dark night, to sell as scrap for drug money.)
Jim Rankin, former Archivist/Historian to the PABST. ( /theaters/2753/ )

JimRankin
JimRankin on January 29, 2003 at 10:00 am

The photo shown is the front facade facing south and noticeable on it is the vertical sign which was installed in 1928, and this view is from 1940 as shown on a car’s license plate cropped out of view, and does not reflect the look of the theater today. The sign was removed in 1974 and now no sign appears on the theater, aside from that built into it in the gable face at the top of the roofline, not readable here. That sign says simply PABST THEATER in deeply pressed copper which is painted a terra cotta brown, as the flanking metal ornament. In 1976 the refurbishment was completed with the flaming urns (stylized flames of gilded metal) and the central lyre, both brightly polished in gold leaf which glitters in the sunlight. In 1996 these letters and the centered cartouche with the initial ‘P’ along with the black wrought iron cartouches flanked with meandering tendrils of iron vines on the canopy’s railing faces, were gold leafed and the new bright contrast of the gold metal against the black wrought iron is striking! Such gold leafing must re-applied by hand about every 25 years. That railing was painted white at the time of the photo. The tall tower in the back ground is City Hall, across Water St. to the east. It was built the same year as the PABST (1895) and still stands, cleaned and restored, today. Not visible from this view are the new glass walled pub installed on the eastern border of land, nor the Milw. Theatre District facade to the immediate west of the theater.

JimRankin
JimRankin on November 17, 2002 at 3:00 pm

The venerable, designated National Landmark theater, the PABST, will from now on be referred to by only that name.

Further aiding the usefulness of the Pabst, is the fact that it has one of the most versatile rigging systems on its stage still found in the United States and is truly state-of-the-art. Not only does it contain the modern electronically controlled motorized rigging, but it is probably the last theatre to feature the historic but little known “Kniclelbein Rigging System.” This is the story of that system:

THE KNICLELBEIN PARADIGM
The Pabst may not have been the equal of the London HIPPODROME, but it along with a few other theatres around the nation it did benefit from an invention of a Milwaukee man by the name of Gustav E. Knickelbein, (1867 – 1941). Born in Chicago, he was brought to Milwaukee in infancy and grew up around the old Academy of Music where he became acquainted with the stage crew there and learned the craft. After years of experience, he noticed that the hemp rope system of rigging to lift scenery were so cumbersome that it was often dangerous to the flymen and others on the stage crews, so he devised a way to eliminate the sand bag counterweights then common to newer theatres which had supplanted the old ‘sliding slots’ method of scenery movement. This invention garnered him a patent for “Scene Shifting Apparatus,” patent No. 1,241,637, dated October 2, 1917, over a year after he applied for it. It consisted of a way of attaching the increasingly popular ‘permanent counterweight systems’ that used steel cables attached to sliding frames (arbors) holding lead weights to counter the weight of the scenery or whatever was on the opposite ends of the steel cables. Such systems enabled the lifting of much more weight faster than the old rope system, but it was a fixed system too rigid for the flexibility of positioning needed in modern stagecraft. Enter ‘Gus’ with his new way of connecting the permanent counterweights to the ropes positioned anywhere on the gridiron, and the resulting patent was issued while he was in charge at the Palace. He earlier perfected his ideas at other Milwaukee theatres such as the Academy, the Bijou, the Majestic, and the Pabst, but his employers, the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit, saw his genius and made him “boss man” in regard to rigging their new theatres in such cities as New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and Winnipeg, but he always loved his home town and returned here where he last worked at the Davidson, which ended its days in 1954. His legacy lives on only at the Pabst, as far as is known, where it provides that National Historic Landmark theater one more claim to fame and history.

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 29, 2002 at 10:07 am

Last friday, April 26, 2002, the mayor of Milwaukee took the stage of the PABST and signed the Common Council resolution transmitting the theater to the Michael Cudahy Foundation. So the sale is official now, with the city scheduled to relinquish payments and control by November when it will become fully privately owned for the first time since 1960. The ‘wedding feast’ was wonderful and all went away happy for the new ‘couple’ and toasting their successful future.