By Livia Peterson
The incredible Landmark Theatres currently operates the Oriental Theatre, 2230 North Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee’s Upper East Side, Wisconsin 53202. Milwaukee Film just announced they will operate the movie palace, commencing during the July 1, 2018. The Oriental Theatre celebrated the Ninetieth Anniversary during the Sunday, June 25, 2017 – with awesome festivities, including Glen Gerard’s magic tricks, the cake, and the organist Perry Petta playing the organ prior and following the screening of Michael Curtiz’s “Casablanca” (1942). Pure magic. Let me tell ya, this movie palace will alter your life for the better, regardless of the operators. I will miss Landmark Theatres operating the theatre. No offense to Milwaukee Film.
The Oriental Theatre presented the Black and White restored version in the darkened theatre. It is obvious why “Casablanca” is hailed a classic film. A timeless and enduring love story, regardless of your age.
Prior to attending the celebration, I attended the fine “Beatriz at Dinner”. I accomplished my first quadruple feature – “Band Aid” and “Dean” at the Downer Theatre and the aforementioned “Beatriz at Dinner” and “Casablanca” at the Oriental Theatre. I ate some cake prior to the screening.
The Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett introduced the film, announcing the Oriental Theatre is one of the hottest places to see a film, particularly the independent films. Glen Gerard presented a couple mesmerizing magic tricks. The crowded theatre witnessed the short cartoon film and “Casablanca” and yes, several folks clapped during the film. As everyone was walking out, I was able to personally speak to and capture the photo with Mr. Barrett (the best moment during the evening, in my opinion).
“Christine” (2016) and “Certain Women” (2016) were my initial two films I attended at the Oriental Theatre. I was stunned during my first visit. You know what: I am still astonished by the theatre during the several visits. Probably the oriental decorations and Buddhas get to me – in a good way. I would like to give a shout out to the brilliant manager Crystal for the breathtaking introductions prior to the films and the whole nine yards. The entire Oriental Theatre staff is jaw dropping. For real.
I highly recommend visiting the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee. The movie palace will capture your heart and never leave. Life altering, indeed.