Fort Theatre

19 Milwaukee Avenue E,
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Crystal Theatre

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Fort Theatre, Fort Atkinson, WI in 1930

The Crystal Theatre was opened by 1914. It was renamed Fort Theatre in September 1928. This theatre operated into the 1950’s or later.

The auditorium was demolished in April 2001 and today only the facade remains, but in a much altered state.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Trolleyguy on May 4, 2009 at 11:48 pm

The “facadectomy” that was done on the building left nothing recognizable to suggest that it was formerly a theater. On the lower level are public restrooms and the upper floor has storage rooms for the Chamber of Commerce.

LouisRugani on August 12, 2010 at 12:04 am

October 25, 1968)
Sprague Theater Sold at Elkhorn

ELKHORN – Dan Kelliher, owner and operator of Sprague Theatre here for the past 46 years, has sold the business to James K. Anderson, Whitewater. Possession will be given Nov. 1. Anderson is a part owner of the Strand Theater in Whitewater, the Fort Theater in Fort Atkinson and the Highway 18 Outdoor Theater near Jefferson. He managed the Strand Theater for eight years.
A former cashier of the First Citizens State Bank of Whitewater, Anderson is now in the investment business. He will manage the theater here but does not plan to move to Elkhorn. He has a summer home at Lauderdale Lakes.
Kelliher purchased the former Princess Theater here in 1922 and has presented the Elkhorn movies for 46 of the 58 years they have been shown.
Mr. and Mrs. Kelliher were originally from Mt. Horeb.
The present Sprague Theater was completed in 1928. The first “talking picture” was shown in 1929. During various portions of his business career Kelliher also leased or owned theaters at Lake Geneva, East Troy, Burlington and Delavan.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 26, 2019 at 5:33 am

This item from the September 1, 1928 issue of Motion Picture News reveals that the Fort Theatre had earlier been known as the Crystal Theatre:

“Walter Beier, of the Beier Film exchange, has taken over the Crystal theatre at Ft. Atkinson from Neil Thompson. Mr. Beier is closing the theatre for three weeks for extensive remodeling. The house will be opened as The Fort.”
The Crystal was the name of one of the three theaters listed at Fort Atkinson in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. The Empire and the Lyric were the other two.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 26, 2019 at 11:05 pm

According to the Arcadia Publishing Company’s book Fort Atkinson, the auditorium of the Fort Theatre was demolished in April, 2001. The older, adjacent building at 23-25 Milwaukee Avenue E. that once housed the Lyric Theatre was demolished at the same time.

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