Southgate Theatre

3333 South 27th Street,
Milwaukee, WI

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Marcus Theatres

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Southgate Theatre

Milwaukee’s first shopping center theatre, as it was built behind Milwaukee’s first shopping center, Southgate.

A very large single screen venue, the Southgate was one of the few large screen venues in Milwaukee that even had a balcony.

Notable in that this huge venue often sold out for many popular films, including Return of the Jedi.

The theatre was razed in 1992 and a ten screen multiplex, the Southgate 10, opened about a block away in 1994.

Contributed by William Kucharski

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

JimRankin on September 21, 2005 at 10:33 am

Actually the original SOUTHGATE was a block south of the current SOUTHGATE-10, and scars in the same parking lot show where the older one stood. It was a shame that the older single screen was demolished, since it did show the attempts at decor when it was built about 1960. It had a little class with its plate glass walled lobby showing the wood panelled areas, whereas the 1994 multiplex has much smaller auditoriums but less character, though a larger lobby. The new version’s facade has a nice Art Deco look, but that is all that distinguishes it. Incidentally, the vintage shopping center is gone; some big box stores replaced it, but for a fragment retained on the south end. In 1950 it may have been the “south gate” of the city, but ensuing years found the suburbs moving ever farther south and west, so the old sign in the 27th St. boulevard “Welcome to Milwaukee” faded away and was never replaced as the actual city limits are now much farther south. The nearby POINT LOOMIS movie house of circa 1965, which became the POINT CINEMAS, was demolished a few years ago, but was part of the inducement for Marcus to build the second SOUTHGATE in competition.

Hal on April 11, 2006 at 4:46 am

This house had a deep Cinerama curved screen, never had 3 strip, only 70mm. The design was similar to several other now gone Milwaukee theatres, the Mayfair, Ruby Isle and also the Madison WI Hilldale. Southgate ran numerous 70mm films and would run old “chestnuts” from time to time like 2001 and other similar films. It was equipped with Century JJII 35/70 projectors with Ashcraft Cinex Special carbon arc lamps and a Ampex 6 channel sound system. There were some differences in the various theatres, Southgate had a balcony with the booth above it, Mayfair had a balcony with the booth on the main floor, (Mayfair had 70mm as well with Norelco AAll’s), Ruby Isle was set up the same way as Mayfair but no 70mm, and the Madison Hilldale (which is still open, but not for long) has no balcony and no 70mm. I worked as a relief projectionist at Southgate from time to time, a nice booth to work in!

Hal on April 12, 2006 at 7:02 am

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that someone has this theatre in the Marcus chain, the current “Southgate” theatre is part of the Marcus chain, but the original single screen was a United Artist “UA” theatre, as was the Mayfair and originally the Ruby Isle as well. U.A. usually took pretty good care of this house and tried it’s best to keep it booked with good film, but alas, like virtually every other single screen house, the suburban multi’s killed it, including some of U.A.’s own newer cinemas.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The Southgate opened Friday, July 3, 1964.

The screen was 60 ft by 20 ft.

The CINERAMA Movies it showed were in 70mm CINERAMA only.

I saw at the Southgate, the Re-Issue of THIS IS CINERAMA, in 70mm CINERAMA, of course, in July or August of 1973. I had seen the 3-strip CINERAMA version long ago and far away. I think this is the last time I saw a movie in CINERAMA.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

Manager Dorean Sherd was named Manager of the year for Wisconsin and three other Neighboring states.She won $500.00 nice extra money for your underpaid theatre manager.Special stunts at Southgate to promote movies won the award for her.Something you never SEE anymore.

TLSLOEWS on July 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

Now thats Showwomanship!!!!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

It also mentioned she took a trip to Europe,but even in those days$500.00 would not go far,so she must either saved or borrowed the extra funds.

rivest266 on October 11, 2010 at 10:15 am

Cinemark Movies 10 ad from April 16th, 1993 is at View link

MSC77 on December 26, 2021 at 11:36 am

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Southgate’s year-long run is mentioned in the piece.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.