Westgate Cinemas

5101 Washington Avenue,
Racine, WI 53406

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reschultzed on January 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm

After sitting around abandoned for a decade, the Westgate was finally torn down this past summer. They’re going to build a bank in its place. Link: http://journaltimes.com/news/local/in-photos-former-westgate-cinema-razed/collection_509014b8-d451-5ed5-b7fe-7bb336d12724.html

stephny0923 on November 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I worked here from 1988-91. It was so much fun, such great memories. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Back to the Future are what I remember the most. Life was simpler back then. Candy, popcorn and soda! That’s it! I didn’t know it closed. What a bummer.

rivest266 on November 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

5 screens on February 14th, 1992. No special ad in the newspaper.

rivest266 on November 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Grand opening ad already up.

dallasmovietheaters on November 11, 2017 at 7:27 am

September 24, 2006 last day of operation with Hollywoodland, Wicker Man, Little Miss Sunshine and The Covenant.

dallasmovietheaters on November 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

General Cinema opened Cinema I & II with “Yours, Mine and Ours” and “A Stranger in Town” on Mary 29, 1968. Ad in photos.

CoryJacobson on October 24, 2017 at 9:12 am

General Cinema’s Westgate Cinema was never a drive-in. The drive-in was located behind the shopping center that was anchored originally by the Turnstyle Department Store bordered by Perry Avenue, Wright Avenue and Ohio Street. When the Shopko Store was built (around 1980) the original Turnstyle store was demolished and shopping center was pushed further back to include the former drive-in property. The drive-in was single screen and separate operation that was also named Westgate.

With regard to the indoor theatre, it was built as a twin theatre and two screens were added to the original building on the east side of the property (where a hotel was demolished) and the original large 700 seat auditorium was split. The original plan was to split the second auditorium, but Ben Marcus personally liked the room and picture size and the theatre remained a 5 screen facility.

quartrun on January 27, 2010 at 9:36 am

The original was an outdoor theater facing to the southeast on Ohio Street, south of Washington Avenue. There were several small store fronts facing Ohio to the east, one of which was a laundromat where my Dad and I would go on Saturdays to do the laundry. I remember they had a machine known as “The Extractor”. It was a large, spinning tub dryer that extracted water from heavy items such as rugs. Directly to the north of those shops, facing Washington was Turn-Style. My Dad’s band, The Ward Allen Trio, was the house band for The Clayton House during the ‘60’s and 70’s. Great memories…

William on October 22, 2009 at 11:37 am

As a GCC house the theatre was once equipped with Sensurround (control unit #85) which was installed in their GCC Meadowdale Theatres in Carpentersville, Illinois at onetime.

DonRosen on November 1, 2006 at 1:38 am

The new Marcus Renaissance Theatres, 13 screens one of which is an Ultra Screen (!!) open November 17, 2006. I’ll be attending the preview party the night before, then do a remote broadcast on opening night. I’ll take pictures. Now, if I can figure out how to post ‘em, you’ll see 'em.

LouisRugani on October 31, 2006 at 5:59 pm

For a recent exterior photograph of the Westgate Cinema (and other Racine theatres), see the Racine Granada Theatre site at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/RacineGranada .

DonRosen on September 25, 2006 at 7:14 am

Correct that, Sunday, Speptember 24, 2006.

DonRosen on September 25, 2006 at 7:14 am

The Westgate Cinemas are CLOSED. The last movie was “Hollywoodland” ending at 11:59pm, Sunday, September 25, 2006. Excellent theatres. In November, the new Marcus 16-plex opens up just down the road. The Regency Mall Cinemas (Yuk!) become budget theatres.

Hal on May 13, 2006 at 5:08 am

By the way, this theatre was simply known as Cinema 1 & 2, the Westgate moniker didn’t show up until many years after the opening. We had two of these in Madison as well, but because there were 2 of them GCC added West Towne and East Towne to the 1 & 2 to distinguish the two cinemas as to their locations. When the Racine 1 & 2 opened, there was no “Westgate Shopping Center” or anything else called Westgate except the drive-in mentioned above. The Turnstyle Store I mentioned above was all that existed in the nearby shopping center at the time, there may have been a couple of smaller stores there I don’t remember, but the center was not known as Westgate at the time.

Hal on May 12, 2006 at 5:18 am

Actually, I believe the drive-in was down Washington Ave. to the East, it was behind the shopping center and around the corner. Both that drive-in and the original “Cinema 1&2 ” operated at the same time. The shopping center housed a “Turnstyle” store as it’s anchor many moons ago. This theatre played all the major films after the demise of the downtown theatres, it was your basic GCC. blue everything, shadow box screens, no masking (very annoying for “flat” features) and ran 6000 ft reels on twin machines with automation and carbon arcs! For years there was a motel and restaurant right next door, it was called the Clayton House. I saw my first “R” rated film in this theatre, Catch 22!!! There was nothing special about this theatre at all, but when it opened it was a big deal because there hadnn’t been a new theatre built in Racine since the 20’s or 30’s. I’m sure it’s date with the wrecking ball is not far off, in this day and age, if there arn’t at least 18 or 20 screens, you can bet the theatre is not long for this world. In this case I doubt if anyone will shed any tears.

DonRosen on April 14, 2005 at 4:56 am

Westgate was originally a drive-in. A twin theatre was built on the site, later 3 more screens were added. It took construction photos which hang at the Marcus offices. General Cinema owned the Regency Mall Cinema (about a mile away) before Marcus.

dave-bronx™ on April 13, 2005 at 11:16 pm

In the 1970s General Cinema had 4 Westgate Cinemas, and Racine was one of them (the others were Cleveland OH, Abiline TX and Brockton MA). Is this the former General Cinema renovated and expanded, or a replacement of the original theatre?

wigginsray on April 13, 2005 at 8:58 pm

Probably will eventually become a budget cinema like the old Highway 50 cinema in Kenosha.

Church conversion – a stadium seated church would be interesting!

DonRosen on January 15, 2005 at 5:11 pm

The fate of this theatre, as well as the Regency Mall Cinema, is in question when Marcus builds it’s new 16 plex, down the road, in Sturtevant.