Hollywood Theatre

123 5th Avenue S.,
La Crosse, WI 54601

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PackerBacker on March 21, 2018 at 9:28 am

I worked at the Hollywood Theatre from 1971 to 1976. When I worked there it was owned by ABC Theatres, Henry Pitt bought the Theatre in about 1972, I think. Anyone who was in the theatre during that time willl remember the baby poop green color on the walls. They called that color Harry Green “Green” for the man who originally ran the theatre for Finkelstein and Ruben. Also when I was there the Manager was Joe Bronk who was forced to retire when the “Exorcist” came out. He was replaced by Joe Kretch, then Ross Halverson. I left for college shortly after.

Hollywood on July 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

We own the Hollywood Theater in La Crosse, Wi. and are hoping to restore the same. Every seat in the theater was sold and the prior owner sold everything he could get his hands on. Please give us your suggestions and comments on our facebook page.

drbjerkaas on April 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

The Hollywood was never owned or operated by Marcus Theatres. The most recent chains were, beginning from the 1970’s, Plitt, Cineplex Ogden and finally Carmike. There will be a considerable cost to refurbish the theatre besides the structure itself. Digital Sound and projection systems will be well over $100K alone. There isn’t a need to replace every seat on the main floor to its original 800 seats.

packer on April 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Here is a link to a TV station’s story on the theater’s new owner’s restoration plans http://www.wxow.com/story/17401470/hollywood-theatre-walk-through

HappiTam on April 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The deed arrived on April 4th, 2012. The new owners are considering a “before renovation tour” (donations to benefit theater improvement). If it is a go I’ll be there!! :–)

The owners also added a Facebook page to share the restoration process.


LouRugani on March 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Phil Addis and his wife Julie of Main Street Renaissance had the high bid of $15,157 – sight unseen – for the 1936 HOLLYWOOD Theatre at a sheriff’s sale Wednesday (Leap Day) February 29th 2012. He once saw “Star Wars” and “E.T.” there and said to the La Crosse Tribune that the HOLLYWOOD someday can again be a venue for live performances and movies. Its last event was a Bobby Vee concert in December 2004. Harris Bank held the deed and the owner had been the Schluter Construction Inc. of Plain, Wis. There are back taxes of $14,700 for the past five years. The sale still has to be approved by a Sauk County judge so it could be two months before Addis can even get inside the HOLLYWOOD, which is part of a National Register of Historic Places district. The seats, equipment and light fixtures have been removed.

The 1000-seat HOLLYWOOD was sold to Fortney, Fortney and Fortney LLP in 1993 to preserve it; then the family donated the building to the Children’s Museum of La Crosse in 2003. By 2005 it went up for sale again. It was assessed this year at $114,700. Main Street Renaissance already owns nine buildings downtown.

ghamilton on September 18, 2011 at 7:35 am

A shot of the dedraggled facility shows up in a new car magazine in an article about the Buick LaCrosse.

LilStinker on October 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

My girlfriend and I live right across the street on 5th Ave above the dollar store, and have talked on numerous occasions about how LaCrosse needs to bring back the Hollywood Theater. It’s been vacant for way too long, and we would love to run a sort of alternative venue for downtown area (i.e. good local music, classical or independent movies, theater, etc). However, after reading some of the previous posts it seems that this would be a HUGE investment with some of the work that needs to be done. If anyone has any information on the current owners we would like to speak to them and present our plans. Seems like the Children’s Museum used to own it but has now changed owners? Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

toolman61 on May 7, 2009 at 9:46 am

I herd today that the present owner of the Hollywood theater wants to sell it and wants to sell it quickly. If anyone out their is interested and has the finances to buy the building and do some remodeling I have a great idea for the building that would keep it intact and give us a new entertainment venue for the Area. If interested contact me at and lets save the Hollywood theater from falling into the hands of someone who will just tare it down to build something new or provide more parking.

Pipes5780 on February 12, 2009 at 7:44 am

Tami, any news on this? Are your plans still moving forward? I would love to see what is going on with this theater…I mean it has been years and it has such potential.

wimovies on April 23, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Isn’t that previous post old information? I think (see above link) the childrens museum already sold it in 2006 to someone, who in turn sold it to someone else for almost triple what they paid the museum. PS-Lost Memory I love all your theatre pictures…

wimovies on April 20, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I think it was seen on this site, where someone was selling the lights, equipment, and other fixtures of that theatre last year. I think the owner after the childrens museum did that. I remember that theatre was featured in “Boxoffice” magazine, a trade magazine of the theatre industry back somewhere in the mid 90’s. It was part of a series of stories they used to do featuring independant exhibitors. At the time I thought it was cool that someone had transformed a closed theatre into a nice business. Apparently it didn’t last.

grimmzombie on April 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I haven’t seen this for myself, but rumor has it that all of the chairs, and whatever else that could be sold as collectible has been removed leaving the theater pretty much gutted.

grimmzombie on March 24, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Just a word of warning to anyone considering purchasing the Hollywood Theater. I’ve been through the building with my real estate agent and the building has more than a few issues that would need to be addressed. The roof is leaking and needs to be repaired at an estimated cost of $70,000. The Children’s Museum turned off the heat in 2006 just before some of the coldest days of winter and consequently the boiler and plumbing all need to be replaced. The electric is also in need of updating. Be aware that if you purchase this building you’ll be looking at a substantial financial investment beyond the sticker price.

vinylfoote on December 28, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Tami- this is all very exciting! I would love to talk with you about an idea I have. Would you email me at your earliest convenience?
tiffany at vinylfoote.com

TamiBelden on December 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm

Today I spoke with one of the owners. I am representing a group of people who are interested in investing in the theater, both by purchasing it and by using it for its intended purpose. This is all in its pre-infancy; ultimately, we hope to cast a wide net in the community and put the Hollywood to good use. For now, I am interesting in getting people to join us and get excited about the prospect, and see where it will lead. Advice is welcome, and I will post more when/if there is news to post.

vinylfoote on December 27, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Can anyone help me to contact who owns the theatre right now? The article in the link was written in 2006?


TamiBelden on December 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Lost Memory- do you have any pictures of the inside of the Hollywood?

wisdoug on December 18, 2007 at 8:20 pm

This is the latest news on the Hollywood, Tami:

View link

There seems to be no real plan for the future and there has been no activity there in 2007 as far as I know.

TamiBelden on December 18, 2007 at 8:27 am

Does anyone know who currently owns the theater, or what plans (if any) the current owner has for it?

wisdoug on December 15, 2007 at 8:54 am

This theater remains shuttered with questions about it being maintained properly. It would be a shame to lose this art deco palace, but time is ticking.

wisdoug on July 11, 2005 at 5:05 am

The Children’s Museum has placed the Hollywood Theater for sale. The museum was looking to at least break even with the theater, but has come up far short of that goal. Hopefully someone will buy and operate the largest movie house in the city.