Milwaukee, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society announces the listing of the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, on the State Register of Historic Places.

The Oriental Theatre has been added to the State Register of Historic Places as a highly intact example of a movie palace, a type that has become increasingly rare within Milwaukee. Compared with a typical movie theater of that period, the movie palace was larger and grander, featuring expansive lobbies, balconies, a stage, and an orchestra pit. The Oriental Theatre was designed by Milwaukee architects Dick & Bauer.

The Oriental Theatre was built in 1927, the height of popularity for movie palaces. It is representative of an Exotic Revival movie palace. It was designed to make moviegoers feel as though they were in a unique setting such as an exotic and distant land. The design of the Oriental Theatre incorporates elements of East Indian, Moorish, Islamic, and Byzantine architecture to create what architect A. H. Bauer called a “temple of Oriental art” executed in ornamental plaster and decorative painting.

The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.

Click here for additional information about the Oriental Theatre.

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