Downer Theatre [edit]
2589 N. Downer Ave.
Milwaukee , WI 53211
(414) 276-8711
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Description [edit]
2 Screens. Built in 1915. Operated by Landmark since 1989. On Friday, December 3, 1915, the Downer Theatre opened its doors to the public. It was one of the finest and most modernly equipped motion picture houses in a residential district in the country, making it the prototype for "neighborhood" theatres at the time. It cost nearly $65,000 to build and boasted a seating capacity of 1,200. Music being an important accessory to the motion picture back then, the Downer had not only a Weickhardt pipe organ, but an orchestra as well.

In May 1990, the Downer re-opened its doors to the public after a much-needed facelift. Transformed into a twin-screener, the new Downer was bright and classic, with the auditoriums painted a cream color. The decorative molding was brought back to life with gold leafing and gaslight-type lanterns lined both auditoriums. New carpeting that resembled the original carpeting from 1915 now covers the Downer lobby and theatre floors as well as the partitions on the walls of the auditoriums. Located on friendly Downer Avenue in Milwaukee's upper East Side, the charming Downer Theatre is the oldest operating movie theatre in Milwaukee and features the finest in independent film and foreign language cinema.

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Recent articles about Downer Theatre

Downer's Almost Midnight adds

Downer's Almost Midnight adds "Alien," that Nic Cage demon biker movie and more

By Matt Mueller - March 21, 2019
Spring is finally here, summer is in hot pursuit and the days are getting longer … Read more...

"Good Burger," "Blues Brothers" and more join Downer's Almost Midnight series

By Matt Mueller - Aug. 02, 2018
The Downer Theatre just unveiled its third chapter of old-school hits and cult … Read more...

"Goonies," "Akira" and more star in Downer's second Almost Midnight movie series

By Matt Mueller - June 11, 2018
Making a good sequel, always the great Hollywood conundrum. Sometimes you get a … Read more...

"Blind Side" star Quinton Aaron chats about his new film and bowling in Montfort

By Matt Mueller - Oct. 04, 2016
Having "The Blind Side" as your first leading Hollywood role is, as star Quinton … Read more...
Urban spelunking: Downer Theatre turns 100

Urban spelunking: Downer Theatre turns 100

By Bobby Tanzilo - Dec. 03, 2015
Reports of the opening of the Downer Theatre on Friday, Dec. 3, 1915, were … Read more...