Milwaukee Film to launch second phase of Oriental Theatre renovation

Will replace seats, concession stand

Oriental Theatre
Oriental Theatre

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm

Milwaukee Film said it is beginning the second phase of its Oriental Theatre restoration project with the goal of completing the work in time for the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival.

Oriental Theatre

The organization plans to replace the Oriental’s current concession stand, upgrade the sound system in the main theater, add a new assisted-listening device system, replace all seats in the westernmost theater and upgrade the building’s emergency systems.

The first phase of the project, which was completed in 2018, included adding a women’s bathroom suite to the first floor and replacing project equipment throughout the 92-year-old theater.

In February, Milwaukee Film said it surpassed its $10 million capital campaign goal to restore the Oriental and provide the nonprofit with its first-ever operating reserve. In 2017, Milwaukee Film signed a 31-year lease to operate the cinema on Milwaukee’s East Side.

“As magnificent as the Oriental Theatre is now, we know there is still work to be done to make it a world-class  venue,” said Jonathan Jackson, chief executive officer and artistic director for Milwaukee Film. “Like all our work at the theater, these upgrades will preserve and enhance the historic beauty of this space, while creating the best possible film experience for our guests.”

All phase-two projects are scheduled to be completed before this year’s film festival, which will run Oct. 17-31.

In 2020, the seats in the main and east houses are scheduled to be replaced.

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