Oasis Theatre

2626 W. Center Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53206

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SAVOY Theatre; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1958.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Savoy Theatre in 1914 on Center Street between 26th and 27th Streets, this theater was renamed the Oasis Theatre by the 1960’s.

In the late-1960’s, the Black Panthers protested the Oasis Theatre, for what it felt was the movie house’s racist policies towards African-American patrons. The Oasis Theatre closed in 1975. The former theatre later housed a bar, and is now home to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

DavidHurlbutt
DavidHurlbutt on December 7, 2004 at 6:51 am

Located at the busy intersections of 27th Street, Center Street, and Fond du Lac Avenue, the SAVOY THEATRE was a very popular movie house. For many years the Savoy was part of the Saxe circuit and even in the 50s long after the heyday of the Saxe Theaters, the Savoy would be listed in The Milwaukee Sentinel as Saxe’s Savoy
In the 40s and 50s the Savoy changed its programs trice a week, on Fridays and on Tuesdays. The Savoy often had original programing of films showing independent releases and British imports not shown in the chain theaters. When the remodelled Savoy became the Oasis in the 60s, the programing became similar to that of other theaters. During its final days it regularly featured Kung Fu films.

JimRankin
JimRankin on January 7, 2005 at 5:31 am

The OASIS never had an Egyptian decor; the reason for the name is unknown. It was a typical box beams-and-pilasters decor, that was not materially remodeled when it changed names. It is in a decaying neighborhood and now is a tavern/bar.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 7, 2005 at 6:51 am

The Film Daily Yearbok, 1941 gives a seating capacity of 800 for the Savoy Theater. In the 1950 edition it had reduced slightly to 761.

TimothyRuf
TimothyRuf on April 4, 2005 at 6:46 am

This building is currently not in use.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 12:05 am

Small photo in Boxoffice magazine, May 12, 1958:
View link
(Top right.)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 1, 2013 at 3:09 am

That Golden Toned Barton Theater Pipe Organ was a 2/, manual/, keyboards/, shipped from the Barton factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1926 to the Savoy Theatre. Does anyone know what happened to organ?

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on June 23, 2014 at 5:23 am

Google Street View is way off. The former theatre is now part of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

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