Books by Larry Widen on Milwaukee Movie Theaters — History, Photos, and Memories
 Larry Widen has run movie theaters, has worked as a photographer, teaches classes at MIAD and is an author of a variety of books,
the most well-known being "Silver Screens", plus cataloging Milwaukee's movie theaters since the dawn of film.



Milwaukee Movie Palaces

A time capsule of unusual architecture in a medium size city – June, 1986
by Larry Widen and Judi Anderson

Milwaukee is a city of a million people making it one of the 20 largest in the country, but this book shows that, for its size, it contained more than its average of exceptional architectural jewels: the PABST, WARNER (now GRAND), ORIENTAL and late lamented EGYPTIAN being amoung the finest of their types in the nation. The Widens list some 162 structures which showed film primarily or somewhat and discuss the business, architectural, and technological trends which brought them to us.

Over 100 photos grace the book in black and white while the cover features a recent color photo of the interior of the auditorium of the ORIENTAL in all its East Indian flavor. While a slim book, it is an excellent introduction to the time and place and a fine journey back in time. It is an excellent work overall, done with care, artistry, and affection for its subject and a time long past.   Available on Amazon

  Silver Screens  
A Pictorial History of Milwaukee's Movie Theaters – October, 2006
by Larry Widen and Judi Anderson

"Silver Screens" traces the rich history of Milwaukee's movie theaters, from 1890s nickelodeons to the grand palaces of the Roaring Twenties to the shopping mall outlets of today. And the story doesn't end there: in the past two decades, the revival of interest in preservation and restoration of theaters has confirmed that there's still life in these beloved old structures.

With the publication of "Silver Screens," authors Larry Widen and Judi Anderson help ensure that our old theaters, those being restored and those long since vanished, will remain forever embedded in our collective memory.   Available on alibris

  Milwaukee Movie Theaters (Images of America)  

Golden Age of Movie Theaters – October, 2010

by Larry Widen
Prior to World War II, there were 90 single-screen movie theaters in Milwaukee. By 1960, that number had been reduced by half. With the arrival of television for the home market, the golden age of the movie theater in Milwaukee was dead. Yet their ghosts continue to haunt the old neighborhoods. Churches, warehouses, stores, nightspots, and other businesses now occupy the former Tivoli, Paris, Roosevelt, and Savoy Buildings. Others are simply vacant hulks, decaying from the inside out. The Elite, Regent, Lincoln, and Warner are but a few of the many silent sentinels from the days when Milwaukee was in love with the movies.

 Available on Arcadia


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