Cinema 8

2811 8th Street S,
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Marcus Theatres

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Cinema 8

Plans of a 350-seat single-screener were improved beginning in November 1972 by four Wisconsin Rapids area men, who were all employed by the Consolidated Papers Incorporated and had previously formed Baja-Cargo Incorporated. The Madison Developers & Construction company of both Minneapolis and Madison constructed the Baja-Cargo-owned 43x110ft building featuring a 176x288ft parking lot and a parking capacity of 95. With an estimate of $250,000 on the theatre, the Cinema 8 opened its doors on April 4, 1973 with Robert Redford in “The Candidate”.

The theatre did get some trouble in the mid-1970’s, but I’ll go through most of the headlines as I can.

  • On March 1, 1974, $75 of damage to a sign and railing were reported at the Cinema 8.

  • On July 11, 1974, the front of the Cinema 8 was damaged by a car being owned by Paul Bruger of 4630 South 10th Street while parked behind the Cinema 8. A tape player, 15 cassette tapes, $125 in cash were stolen, and a five-speed green Schwinn bike that was parked on the side of the theatre that was originally owned by Mark Hokamp of 1920 North 2nd Street. However, two days prior, the Cinema 8’s parking lot witnessed “probably” its first vehicle accident. Eli Rosandich, of Route 3 Wisconsin Rapids said that his car was hit by another car causing $50 in damage to the right door.

  • On April 4, 1975, Roger Brock of Tulsa, Oklahoma, told Wisconsin Rapids Police that while he was driving south on 8th Street, a group of youths threw a rock through his passenger’s side window of his Jeep. The right door was slashed, and a $50 parka jacket was stolen while being parked in the Cinema 8 lot. Gary Sachs of 140 North 10th Avenue reported that the doors were slashed several hours earlier according to the WRPD at 13 minutes before midnight.

  • On April 1, 1976, Robert Barton of 1930 North 3rd Street’s car, which was parked in front of the Cinema 8 theatre, was vandalized without notice shortly 30 minutes before midnight.

There were a couple of other handful incidents later on in the 1970’s but it’s not the typical “X-rated” related, since the Cinema 8 rarely plays the explicit stuff since they were first-run like the other theatres in Wisconsin Rapids. Also in the late-1970’s, the theatre became part of the Marcus Theatres chain. Later on and into the 1980’s, there were a truckload of vehicle accidents nearby the theatre.

On March 23, 1986, a van that was parked by James Hawke of 161 12th Avenue at the Cinema 8’s parking lot unexpectedly catches fire. This did not cause damage to the theatre.

The Cinema 8 closed for the final time during the first quarter of 1988 and was later bought by Jim Seegert of ERA Seegert that converted the theatre into office space that May.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES
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