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The Oriental Theatre of Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Landmark Oriental Theatre


The Oriental Theatre of Milwaukee

Lions and elephants are popular elements in the decor of the Oriental Theater.

Image by Carrie Trousil

Visiting Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre

Where: 2330 N. Farwell Ave.
Cost: General admission is $10 adults, $7.50 seniors and children under 12, $8 students. Bargain shows are $7.50 and include all shows before 6 p.m., or the first show of the day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Contact: (414) 276-5140
Website: www.landmarktheatres.com

Built in 1927, the Landmark Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee's East Side is the last great movie palace in the city. Originally, the Oriental contained one large theatre, but today, the ornate main theater is flanked by two smaller screening rooms.

Although the moniker "Oriental" brings an Asian motif to mind, the decor of the Oriental Theatre is actually East Indian, and throughout the theatre complex you'll find murals, lions and packs of elephants, and even giant Buddhas in the main theater.

The Oriental Theatre has been run by Landmark Theatres since 1976, and features a mix of foreign, independent and eclectic mainstream films.

Fun Facts:

  • Milwaukee folk rock band the Violent Femmes were discovered in the early 1980's while playing on a street corner near the Oriental when the Pretenders, performing that evening at the theatre, asked them to take the stage as an opening act.
  • Every Friday and Saturday before the 7pm show in the main theatre, the audience is serenaded with a Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ. When finished, the organ descends into the "pit" of the stage.

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