2589 N. Downer Avenue,
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Architects: Martin S. Tullgren
Firms: Martin Tullgren & Sons Co.
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News About This Theater
The Downer Theatre opened in 1915, and was soon recognized as one of the most modern urban movie houses of the day, and became a model for subsequent neighborhood theatres. Not only did the elegantly Classical style Downer Theatre have its own Weickhardt Pipe Organ, but its own in-house orchestra. It was remodeled in a Streamline Moderne style reopening on October 17, 1937.
Acquired in 1990 by the Landmark chain, it became a twin screen theater, but was given a badly needed renovation that was respectful of its history. Gold leaf was reapplied, the auditorium was repainted, and carpeting that duplicated the original 1915 carpeting was laid in the lobby and auditorium floors.
The Downer Theatre is the oldest operating cinema in the city of Milwaukee and specializes in art and foreign films. It was suddenly by Landmark Theatres on September 19, 2023.
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