Climax Theater

1954 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53205

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Additional Info

Firms: Duggan & Huff

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CLIMAX Theatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Climax Theater opened in 1911 and closed in 1957. It was destroyed by fire in 1965, and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

RickB on November 30, 2004 at 5:57 pm

The name did get used on at least one porn theater somewhere—I can remember Tony Randall, of all people, talking about it on some TV show in the ‘70s.

JimRankin on January 12, 2005 at 6:11 am

It is odd that the owners chose that name, since the ‘climax’ in theatrs for Meister and Freuler was opend the same year in the form of the BUTTERFLY, that remarkable facade on downtown’s main street of a huge butterfly in light bulbs. It is profiled on this site.

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2007 at 9:43 am

The 1945 Milwaukee city directory lists a German Kino Radio Theater on 2459 W. Fond du Lac in Milwaukee. I’m wondering if this was a house just for radio production and not for films. If so, it wouldn’t qualify to be added here.

TLSLOEWS on February 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Would like to see photos of the marquee.

LouisRugani on April 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

(October 12, 1965)
Climax Theater Interior Burned

Fire charred the interior of the former Climax Theater on Milwaukee’s near northwest side Monday night.
Battalion Fire Chief Alvin Hainke said the blaze began in a former offstage dressing room at the theater which has been vacant for a considerable time. There was no immediate damage estimate.

LouisRugani on April 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

There is a rare if modest 1915 photo of the exterior of the CLIMAX taken from Motion Picture World in the Wisconsin Theatres forum at . An unusual theatre, not foursquare at all as you’ll see, which I saw in 1962-1963, but the ornamentation visible in the photo was already slathered over by what looked like plaster slurry.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 1, 2013 at 4:33 am

A Golden Toned Barton Theater Pipe Organ 2/, manual/, keyboards/, was shipped by the Barton Organ Company of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. How many /ranks, /sets of pipes, what year was it shipped to the Climax, and what happened to the organ?

JerryEiff on March 14, 2019 at 2:52 am

The Climax which was obviously named for the height of the excitement before the end of the movie was my childhood playhouse. I lived on 24th and Lloyd and every Sunday we would go to a show which often featured a double header, cartoon, three stooges short and toy on the way out all for 25 cents. It was packed but how can you make money at 25 cents a head.

JerryEiff on March 14, 2019 at 3:00 am

The Kino Theater that was asked about was a genuine german language movie house. I was born to german grandparents and taught German at an early age and since I lived in the neighborhood with them they would take me there every other week. It was very small and cozy. I wish I could describe it further but I was a small boy at the time.

LouRugani on May 3, 2022 at 4:08 pm

(Burlington WI Free Press, October 5, 1939) - Funeral services for Louis Plate, 78, owner of the Climax Theater, Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee, were held there last Saturday, with interment in Valhalla cemetery. He died Thursday at his home, 939 N. Twentieth Street. Mr. Plate was born in this city August 12, 1861. He attended the University of Chicago, then moved to Rock Valley, Iowa, where he lived for 17 years. He returned to Wisconsin, living in Oshkosh for several years. He moved to Milwaukee 53 years ago, and purchased the Climax Theater 30 years ago. For a number of years he was vice-president of the Motion Picture association of Milwaukee; and was a close friend of the late Carl Laemmle, president of Universal Pictures, Inc. He retired 10 years ago. He is survived by his wife, Freda, whom he married July 31, 1884; three daughters, Mrs. Marie Potter, and Misses Lunetta and Florence Plate; three sons, Louis, Lorence and Harry; a brother, Henry of San Diego, Calif.; and a sister, Mrs. Henry J. Vos of Burlington, Wis.; fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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