In case you missed it, tomorrow marks the beginning of the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival. Yes. For 15 days, MFF2017 will light up the screens of the Oriental Theatre, Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, Times Cinema, and Avalon Theater. Need a little history on two of those theaters? Then travel back 26 years to 1991, when a Milwaukee Area Technical College documentary traveled back even further to delve into the histories of the Oriental and the Avalon, as well as the now-defunct Paradise Theater.
Hosted by Craig Schanning (nine years removed from his appearance at the world’s largest Pac-Man tournament at County Stadium), Motion Picture Places talks to then-current theater managers and digs up some film-tastic fun facts. Did you know that the Oriental opened on July 2, 1927, and that its opening day film was Naughty But Nice? Did you know that the Paradise (now an epikos church) was a real dump in the ’70s and ’80s, and that its history during that time is “shrouded in mystery”? Did you know that the Avalon was showing Child’s Play 2 the day this documentary was shot? Fun! Enjoy.