Prior to World War II, there were 90 single-screen movie theaters in Milwaukee. By 1960, that number had been reduced by half. With the arrival of television for the home market, the golden age of the movie theater in Milwaukee was dead. Yet their ghosts continue to haunt the old neighborhoods. Churches, warehouses, stores, nightspots, and other businesses now occupy the former Tivoli, Paris, Roosevelt, and Savoy Buildings. Others are simply vacant hulks, decaying from the inside out. The Elite, Regent, Lincoln, and Warner are but a few of the many silent sentinels from the days when Milwaukee was in love with the movies.
About the Author
Larry Widen is a historian and the author of Images of America: Entertainment in Early Milwaukee. He operates the historic Times and Rosebud cinemas near downtown Milwaukee.