Bay Theatre

2893 S. Delaware Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53207

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LouisRugani on June 11, 2010 at 8:55 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.

KMCNINI on December 30, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Does anyone know if this theatre is for sale or any future plans for it? Could you please provide any known information on its ownership?

JimRankin on June 17, 2005 at 8:52 am

Timothy R.’s contributions re Milwaukee theatres are appreciated, and if he would like to be added to my list of Local Theatre Buffs to whom I send occasional bulletins like the above, he only has to E-mail me to this effect by clicking on my name below in blue, and then clicking on the CONTACT information on my Profile page.

TimothyRuf on June 17, 2005 at 8:09 am

If you would like to see the front and side of this building, this link will take you to a photo.

View link

The style of this building, from the exterior is very very different from that of the Venetion which was another Peacock & Frank design. I grew up a few blocks from the Venetion. I am pleased to see that the Marquee is still on the building, and many of the details of the building have been left intact.

claydoh77 on June 16, 2005 at 9:51 am

You can vaguely see this on the rooftop on this satellite image from googls maps:
View link

What a great joke!

JimRankin on June 15, 2005 at 7:57 pm



The “Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel” has this story about our former BAY theatre which later became the LAKE:
View link
about how a local eccentric owner painted huge letters on its flat, black roof saying “Welcome to Cleveland” when planes fly over it to Milwaukee’s airport a few blocks away. This has amused and startled more than a few flyers, and the story of it makes interesting reading. Click on the link above, and when there, click on the photo to enlarge it and see what all the fuss is about. The marquee still hangs on the front of the theatre which has been Mr. Gubin’s photo studio and residence for many years now, and which has had its seats removed, but its new incarnation is probably a more suiteable usage than many others. What will become of it when Mr. Gubin becomes to old to climb the steps to his balcony-home, is anyone’s guess, but maybe the roof top joke will by then have long faded away, much to the delight of both cities. Maybe the author of the forthcoming sequel to “Milwaukee Movie Palaces,” Larry Widen, can get permission to copy this photo into the appendex of his new book: “Silver Screens” to appear in a year from now. He can hardly overlook this bit of trivia about the fates of our movie palaces!

JimRankin on August 28, 2004 at 7:36 am

Thanks go to “DavidH” for his memories and clairifications. The first hand experience is often better than what can be obtained through research. It is a pity that David does not choose to list his E-mail on his Member Profile, so that others could contact him about his memories. Clicking on the blue “posted by ____” name at the bottom of a post will take one to a poster’s page where such information is stored. By clicking on “My Profile” at the top of a page, one can go to one’s page and modify it as he pleases.

DavidHurlbutt on August 27, 2004 at 5:09 pm

The theater was origianlly called the Lake. It was changed to the Bay in the early 40s. The Bay closed as a full time theater in 1951; it was then open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In the 40s and 50s the Bay was operated by Standard Theaters. Standard theaters also owned the Riverside, Hollywood, Times and Tosa. Both the Times and the Tosa(Rosebud) are still in operation. Prior to being run by Standard, I think the Bay waspart of the Warner circuit.
The Bay’s marquee did not advertise the day’s features. It just had large red neon letters: BAY. This was similiar to the marquee of the Lincoln Theater on Lincoln Avenue.
The Bay was not air-conditioned. In the 40s and the 50s the Bay could not meet the competition of the nearby AVALON. The Avalon was larger(over 1500 seats) and had features right from downtown.
The Bay did have one road show attraction: TALES OF HOFFMAN. It ran for three days. For those days the ushers wore tuxedos.
In 1951 when Fox theaters opened their new theater in Whitefish Bay they called it the FOX-BAY for the two adjoining suburbs Whitefish Ban and Fox Point. The Bay on Delaware Avenue remained the Bay. It was surprising that the owners didn’t chage its name to Bay View denoting its location on the south end of Milwaukee.