By Yona Gavino. CREATED Dec 15, 2014 – UPDATED: Dec 15, 2014
MILWAUKEE — The Avalon Theater resembles more old world Spain than Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And it’s open once again for moviegoers.
“This is the most historic theater in the entire state of Wisconsin,” remarks Alderman Tony Zielinski. “And when I say that, I mean that the first talking pictures in the state of Wisconsin occurred here in 1929.”
Moviegoers marvel at the changes from the two and a half million dollar facelift.
Bay View history buff John Manke remembers the theater as a child.
“This theater is living history,” recalls Manke. “You’re walking, and you almost feel like you’re out in the country. You’re looking at Spanish architecture.”
Original updated spaces like this cocktail lounge blend with new decor, like this concession stand.
“It seems like in the last 20, 30 years before it closed down, it got relegated to like a budget-type cinema, and it was really rough in here,” recalls Zielinski
Back inside the cinema, John, his wife and their friend wait for The Hobbit trilogy to start, as they swap stories.
“We remember there was a small screen in here. People used to sneak out the back door and bring people in,” laughs Manke.
On Wednesday, a marquee will be mounted above the front doors. The Avalon Theater’s grand opening is December 18.
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