Behind-the-scenes look at the Oriental Theatre restoration project

Crews are working to paint and clean the ceiling of the Oriental’s main theater.

Last updated on July 31st, 2020 at 10:07 am

While the Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee’s East Side remains closed for the summer, work is underway to restore the historic 93-year-old building’s main and east houses.

Milwaukee Film, the nonprofit owner and operator of the Oriental, offered a behind-the-scenes look of the project construction on Wednesday.

Crews on Wednesday were painting and cleaning the plaster on the ceiling and walls of the main theater. Other work this summer will include replacing seats and carpeting, improving sightlines and sound quality and beginning the process of installing a 1925 Wurlitzer theater organ.

The organization met its $10 million fundraising campaign goal for the project in spring 2019, and completed the restoration of the Oriental’s west theater later that year.

Milwaukee Film expects to complete the current phase of the project by the end of October. The organization hasn’t yet determined when it will reopen the theater doors, due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, Milwaukee Film is screening independent films online through its Sofa Cinema platform

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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