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Oriental Theater

2230 N Farwell

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Detail for Oriental Theater : Theater Historic

Built in 1927 as an 'atmospheric theater' which seated 2,500 people. The theater has since been divided and still operates today as a movie theater. The lobby has been restored to its original decor. - sys, 12/26/1999

In response to the question posed by Bob Wolf concerning the artist he inquired about. The name, I believe, is Steve Slaske (no d). He lives in Milwaukee and while he has done many Milwaukee area images, he specializes in city scenes from any where he visits. The Oriental is a wonderful place, and I covet the faux Egyptian and Oriental composite objects that decorate the interior. There are huge Buddhas with glowing red spots on their foreheads, black lion sculptures on the staircase, silver elephants on the walls, magnificent colored glass hanging lamps, terrific painted wall decorations and that continuing Art Deco nostalgic atmosphere. - Gary, 07/25/2008

REM played here on their 'Life's Rich Pageant' tour. 3 songs into it I was thrown out for taking pictures. After some quick appeals to the manager, I was let back in, only missing 1/2 of a song.

Milwaukee , Oriental Theater

On one picture I have direct eye-contact with the bouncer who booted me! funny
- bea lone, 01/02/2004

The Oriental theater is a beautiful theater. From the domes on the fasade to the mosaic tiles in the rest rooms. The original layout was very grand with faux buddas that have eyes that are lit when the lights are down and elephant heads holding the ceiling up. The films shown in the late 60s and early 70s were well chosen. The pattern was 2 new movies (with a theme) for Monday and Tuesday, new movies for Wednesday and Thursday, new movies for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ticket cards were sold allowing the owner entry to the Theater with a punch on the card (10 - 12 punches per card). Films from all over the world were shown. My first experience was a James Bond Festival that lasted 2 weeks. The great experience of seeing older films as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen, was overwhelming. My particular favorite was 'The Wizard of Oz'. I had no idea that the film was in color after the house fell on the Witch of the east (having seen it on black and white TV only). The films shown now are current films and sometimes a film festival. - David, 12/06/2003

I have been to the Oriental in Milwaukee and I have loved every moment I have sat in thier chairs watching one of their primere silent films or other films. Sadly, I have only been to two but the experinced will always be positive. In the near future I hope to attend other films and even a concert or two. With much praise and thanks, Stefanie - Stefanie Erdman, 02/26/2003

it's beautiful. love the organ player too - robin, 05/18/2002

The Oriental was a great escape, I remember the balcony almost always being roped off(yet sneaking up there was worth the risk) The walk from the ticket window to the inside lobby was lined with movie posters(what I wouldn't give to have just one of those carefree days back) Most of my memories are from the 60's and 70's, when the place doubled as a rock venue, it was probably in it's prime. I too, grew up on Kenilworth Ave, just a few blocks from the Oriental and probably passed it 2 or 3 times a day until I left Milwaukee, so needless to say I have a strong passion for this place. On a business trip, in 1983, back in Milwaukee, at the Propect Mall, I purchased an original drawing of the Oriental, by an artist named Steve Slasked, the drawing shows the Oriental playing the Premier of La Vie Continue & Cousin Cousine, plus Galigua on Friday Midnite, does anyone know anything about this artist and his works? - bob wolfe, 11/26/2001

this is a beautiful theater and I am glad you have restored it!I am trying to find out about a preservation council for old theater's/If anyone knows of any and their are any chapters in Chicago please let me know. - darren ford, 03/19/2003

During the 1950's, I grew up a few blocks from the Oriental Theater and attended as many movies as I could. I loved the place for its beauty and weirdness. Does anyone remember of machine that dispensed 'Green River' at ten cents a cup? I also attended some live performances. The one I remember the best was Bob Newhart when he was an up and coming stand-up comic. I also remember a Poco concert that was great. I hope to get back to Milwaukee next year and I will certainly make a pilgrimage to the Oriental. - Charley Wolfe, 12/26/2000

I remember the theater for holding wonderful concerts in the 70's kathy Peters -, 08/11/2000

I have had the pleasure of seeing many wonderful films at the Oriental. It is a unique theater, with an atmosphere all its own. - andy, 04/17/2000

The Oriental Theater is the grandest of them all. In 1985, it housed the greatest Milwaukee concert of all time, when the band Tears For Fears performed there. I didn't attend the concert, for I was only one years old, but if Tears For Fears perfomed there, it's got to be one hell of a place! - Stephen Kohlmann (HeadacheHistory@hotmai, 07/07/1999

The Oriental Theater is more than just an old theater. It is nostalgia! To keep a treasure like this open is the greatest act that anyone can do. In a society where all we do is built and rebuild, we need to keep a part of history going. Today the latest trend is 'stadium seating' and I personally think it sucks! I enjoy looking up at the big screen and I think that we are missing the point of going to the theater with today's multi-plex theaters. The Oriental has this feel that can't be described in any kind of words. It's an experience that you have to just go a discover for yourself. I would love to see this page more developed to show the world that history is still king. You can't take away the best and nothing can ever replace it. Kind of like 'Casablanca.' These are my views and I would love to hear some responses on this page. C-ya all in the theater. Jonathan Johnson - m.i.a.d. student - Jonathan Johnson, 02/11/1999

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1 planet: Below par, skip it. Milwaukee guide with reviews
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