Remember movie theaters? Remember the Oriental Theatre? So do we! When the historic East Side theater reopens sometime this fall, however, it won’t be the Oriental Theatre you remember. Happily, it’ll be even better.

Yes, the Oriental’s pre-pandemic update and restoration plan is still going full swing. The main house is currently gutted and awaiting new seats, the decorative gargoyles are getting new green glow-in-the-dark eyes, and the ceiling is being cleaned. Other things on tap: updated lighting, updated sound, and the elimination of the entire middle aisle for better seating and sight lines. Oh, and a new concession stand in the lobby. And a new pipe organ. Fun!

Take a behind-the-scenes peek at the project below. Work is expected to finish in mid- to late-October (pending any further pandemic delays). And while the 2020 Milwaukee Film Festival likely won’t be an in-person event, it will still take place. Stay tuned.

About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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