National Theatre

2616 W. National Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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Patsy on November 3, 2015 at 7:40 am

Such a shame Milwaukee lost this theatre due so often to ignorance.

tntim on September 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

This link is to the June 9, 1928 1ssue of the Exhibitors Herald and Picture World that reviews the National Theater. Link

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on July 30, 2013 at 6:07 am

That National Grande Barton Theater Pipe Organ, 3/10, manual/rank, keyboards/sets of pipes, was shipped from Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1927. First at the Console of that Golden Voiced Organ was Martin Pflug. I think the organ was in the theater till the 1960’s, anyone know what happened to it?

MikeKojis on April 12, 2013 at 9:21 am

I had the privilege of being an usher at the national in the late 50’s early 60' while in High School. The pretty girls and the endless showing of the same movie, the popcorn girl, ticket taking and using the flashlight in the balcony are just of a few of the memories. Old movie posters, dressing rooms, vaudeville curtains, trap door in the floor, the massive organ and “Air Cooled” inside, these are things that you can only appreciate if you walked those hallowed halls. The car lot next door that would give the ushers a “deal” if you steered people there. The national bar across the street where we would send a runner for a six-pack of beer.

Yes it was wonderful place and the showed movies too.

terpsman on March 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I posted the original grand opening program from January 12, 1928 Milwaukee Sentinel, I grew up across the street from the theatre late 50’s early 60’s. Saw the Magfificent 7 four times and remember many scifi movies and 3 Stooges marathons.

LouisRugani on June 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm

(April 19, 1930)
Theatre Deal Goes In Effect At Midnight

Warner Brothers To Take Over Sheboygan Theatre And Other Theatres In Wisconsin

It was unofficially announced today that Warner Bros, one of the leading film companies in the United States, has taken over the Wisconsin branch of the Universal Theatrical Enterprises chain of theatres, and that the concern will assume ownership at 12 o'clock midnight tonight and will start operating these theatres Sunday.
Theatres included are the Sheboygan theatre, which was erected at a cost of $600,000 and which was opened to the public in 1928; Venetian theatre at Racine, Kenosha theatre at Kenosha, and all the Universal theatres in Milwaukee except the Alhambra. Among the Milwaukee theatres are the Lake, State, Downer, Juneau, Nation and Kosciuszko.
The deal, which has been in the course of consummation during the past week, involves millions of dollars in theatre values.
Manager K. G. Wood of the Sheboygan theatre today would not make official comment as to the completion of negotiations, but admitted that he was notified late Friday to take a complete inventory of his theatre, and to check meters at the close of business tonight.
The Sheboygan theatre is one of the most up to date in the state chain. It is equipped with the latest Western electric sound equipment, with new changes and installations made from time to time as improvements are made in the sound facilities. The theatre in Spanish atmospheric design has a seating capacity of 1,600.

PCino on May 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

I was certainly hoping that someone would have an exterior photo of this theatre before it was razed in the early 70’s. The National was considered to be the most lavish of the “Atmospherics” in the city.

nonsportsnut on October 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I’m a Three Stooges Fan Club member, trying to confirm a personal appearance by the “3” Stooges (Moe Larry and Shemp), on a bill with Wee Bonnie Baker, the Barretts and Don Hooton, after an appearance by the A.B. Marcus Revue. The movie “Queen of Burlesque” was also shown. I have a display ad, but no dates (or town shown). Believe it was the Summer of 1946, and may have been Shemp’s first appearance after Curly’s strokes. The National was advertised as air cooled and showed a phone number of JA-7863.

Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks Frank Reighter

DavidHurlbutt on August 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm

In its day the National was ofter referred to as the Million Dollar Theater. The National was a Warner theater and it often if not aways had the same program as another Warner theater, The Egyptian, which was located across town on the north end of Milwaukee.

JimRankin on April 13, 2004 at 8:13 am

Please let me know if you learn anything more about this theatre. Thank You. Jim Rankin =

PaulDorobialski on February 12, 2004 at 1:37 pm

In the summer of 1968 I watched the National theatre “bite the dust”. The old dressing rooms downstairs were full of old sound equipment for the taking, Western Electric, Altec,all laid around like fallen soilders,but armed with a coaster wagon and a weak flashlight I braved the basement only to be caught by a flood of water heading my way,a broken water main sprung a leak and flooded my path!