La Vogue Theatre

1820 52nd Street,
Kenosha, WI 53140

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VOGUE Theatre; Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The New Vogue Theatre in Kenosha was opened in September 1923 with Joe King in “Counterfeit Love”. Originally it had vaudeville acts and movies. But in 1958, the the Vogue Theatre was purchased by a local religious group.

In 1960, the original marquee (which was fantastic!) was removed for the widening of 52nd Street. That same year, the theatre was loaned out to the Shoreliners Drum and Bugle Corps, who then had all the children who were in the corps tear out the theatre’s seats and level off its floor with cement. But they did install a kitchen. In 1970, a group of college kids restored the box office, brought in a bunch of folding chairs, and started showing 16mm films.

Cinema Treasures user ‘denise’ shares this memory:

“In 1977, Louis Rugani (who has a show on 920 AM in Kenosha) helped my father attain the building. He had built a loft on the balcony to live in and had it as a gymnastics academy during the day and a disco at night, and special nights for roller disco too.

My father passed away close to 11 years ago and my brother and I inherited the theatre. Unfortunately, my brother passed about 2 years ago and I became the sole owner. I am living in it and and restoring it with my fiancé."

Contributed by denise,Pete Christy

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

gabber303 on January 15, 2004 at 10:30 pm

there were 650 seats(or so they say)-the architect was charles augustine-at times it was leased under the united theaters chain-the style of the interior was modest. floral print fabric walls, the lower part trimmed to resemble stone, a few upright pilasters, and double-candle light sconces of plaster with small shades. unfortunately, by the time it fell into my family’s hands nothing of the interior survived.

sdoerr on February 29, 2004 at 5:36 pm

denise be sure to submit us news on the renovation! Also I have changed the name to La Vogue Theatre, since that will be the name once you restore it. Once again thanks for you help.

LouRugani on November 19, 2005 at 8:06 pm

The Vogue Theatre opened in September 1923 and was operated by local barkeep Walter Schlager. It hosted second-run films and live acts into the 1930s. A random search turned up an appearance by Patsy Montana. There was a two-manual Wicks organ. Local exhibitor Bill Exton (who also operated the Roosevelt and Hollywood Theaters) leased the Vogue, which was part of Milwaukee’s Standard Theatres chain in the 1940s. The last regular double-feature program there was on the night of Monday, December 15, 1951, with the outside temperature at fifteen below zero.

mag on March 30, 2006 at 8:38 pm

this theater is really cool,and i know fully the very personal and sentimental value it has to its owner.the theater is some what of urban history to alot of people who had the chance to hang out ,play and even had life expanding experiences inside its intriguing has inspired poety and has a nostalgic feeling for me every time i see it. im happy denise hs obtaned it because i know how hard she has fought to keep it. salu to you ms. diorio sincerely

wigginsray on August 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I’d love to see some interior photos – I’ve only heard about La Vogue from older friends.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 16, 2008 at 9:18 am

A Moller Pipe Organ, Opus 3549, a 2 Manual/6 Rank, that cost $3,850.00 was installed in this theater in 1923. What happened to it is unknown. If you know anything about what happened to the organ, please email us!

Gee Dad, it “WAS” a Mollel!"

LouisRugani on October 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

(April 10, 1941:)
Dies of Injuries from Hit-Run Crash
Milwaukeeâ€"(AP)â€" Kenneth Hagberg, 35, of Kenosha, died at the
county emergency hospital last night of injuries sustained early Tuesday when his automobile plunged off Highway 41 into a ditch near the county line.
Hagberg, who was a projectionist at the Kenosha Vogue theater, told
deputies another car sideswiped his and then fled the scene.

LouisRugani on October 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

(January 14, 1930)
Arrest Of Man And Youths Solves Burglary Series
Kenosha, Wis.â€"(UP)â€" A series of burglaries, including that of the
Vogue theatre, Jan. 5, were believed solved today after a man and
three youths had been arrested and allegedly confessed to the robberies.
The four are Arthur Metten, 29; John Metten, 20; Christy Marko,
18, and a 14-year-old boy. John Metten was arrested in a stolen car, police said, and confessed to the thefts and admitted that he
and his companions planned to rob another Kenosha theatre, the safe
of which had already been taken out with $500 in it.

LouisRugani on October 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

In 1940 the VOGUE’s original marquee was replaced with a streamlined art-moderne marquee (which remained until 1960), the vertical sign was removed, the interior was redecorated and “freshened”, and Nick Coston was appointed manager by lessee Standard Theatres of Milwaukee.

davidcoppock on November 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

Also opened with Pathe news, and a Our Gang comedy(“Aesops Fables”).

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