UPDATE (3/12/2020): As a precautionary measure done in effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, Milwaukee Film is capping capacity of its Oriental Theatre screenings at 33% through the end of April. They’ve also postponed the “rowdy” screenings of Cats to August 22-23. Here’s Milwaukee Film’s statement:

“Our upcoming ‘rowdy’ screenings of Cats will be moved from Friday-Saturday, March 20-21, to Friday-Saturday, Aug. 21-22. If you’ve purchased tickets already, those tickets will be honored on the corresponding night in August. Should you need to request a refund, please do so by Thursday, March 19; email your name and order number to [email protected].”


Some cinematic bombs take years before they become cult classics—in the case of 2019’s Cats, it took about 24 hours. The wildly misconceived adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wildly misconceived stage musical was blasted by critics and ridiculed by audiences. Apparently, glitchy CGI and the sight of Taylor Swift and James Corden cavorting around with other “Jellicles” was a bad idea. Or was it?

Yes, believe it or not, Cats has garnered a cult following. In Milwaukee, one fan even created an online petition asking the historic Oriental Theatre to screen the film. “Despite the film’s negative reaction it has found its fans and they wish to spread the film’s bizarre message to Milwaukee,” reads the petition. Nearly 200 signatures later and, well, the Oriental is gonna do it! And Milwaukee Record is gonna sponsor it!

On Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, the fur will fly when the Oriental hosts “rowdy” screenings of Cats. What’s a “rowdy” screening? Per Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which has hosted similar screenings:

In these special screenings, all you cool cats are encouraged to clap, purr, hiss, and hairball cough when the time feels right. BUT that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to carry on conversation, use your phone, slowly paw your beer glass off the counter, or be in any way disrespectful of one another or our staff. If you do, we’ll send you right back to the pound.

General admission tickets are $11, and both screenings begin at 10 p.m. Get your tickets MEOW.