Comments from tmsenzig

Showing 26 - 42 of 42 comments

tmsenzig commented about Fox Theatre on Jan 6, 2007 at 11:23 am

There were 2 Penske trucks parked outside the theatre today unloading what appeared to be – among other things – projection and lighting equipment.

tmsenzig commented about Portage Theatres on Dec 5, 2006 at 6:40 pm

The owners of this theatre also owned the 51/16 Drive-In on US 51 southeast of Portage. The drive-in was closed and sold in 1982 to raise revenue for the rennovation of this theatre from one screen to three screens.

tmsenzig commented about 51/16 Drive-In on Dec 5, 2006 at 6:28 pm

This drive-in would have been located between the power plant and Hwy 51, near the intersection of the plant’s access road. Nothing now remains of it, however.

tmsenzig commented about Gail Theater on Dec 3, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Further research of old editions of the Mauston Star reveals that the Gail actually opened in 1930, and not in 1929 as I offered previously. The Majestic closed at the same time the Gail opened.

tmsenzig commented about 51 Outdoor Theater on Nov 28, 2006 at 11:25 am

On the documentary video of the Fox Theatre, I remember hearing that the 51 Outdoor was operated by the same people as the Fox and the Lyric.

tmsenzig commented about Star Cinema on Nov 27, 2006 at 5:57 pm

Star Cinema is a great, clean, and modern place to see a movie. It is located off Hwy 33 in downtown Reedsburg, which is a plus. Unfortunately when it was constructed, it also meant the death of the historic Badger Theatre, also in downtown Reedsburg.

tmsenzig commented about Orpheum Theatre on Nov 26, 2006 at 8:27 pm

There was an article in the Wisconsin State Journal about potentially relighting the landmark Orpheum sign which towers over State Street. The estimated cost was given to be about $200,000.

tmsenzig commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 25, 2006 at 11:10 am

I checked out the video from the Portage County Library. It’s definately worth watching. A very nice historical overview and tribute to the Opera House/Majestic/Fox. I had read about this video, which was made by a UWSP graduate student as part of his masters thesis, one day while searching through the UWSP archives. Glad to have come across it, and thanks for posting the info about it!

tmsenzig commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 16, 2006 at 8:03 pm

I’ve got some pics (though not very good)…. what is your email address?

tmsenzig commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 16, 2006 at 7:29 pm

It was in the Stevens Point Journal about a couple weeks ago that the marquee renovations were expected to be done by the parade, and that that we might see the marquee switch on with the rest of the lights downtown.

tmsenzig commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 16, 2006 at 5:10 pm

The sign and marquee were up and running tonight during the Christmas Parade. Actually, they went on simultaneously when Mayor Westcott turned on the holiday lights on Main Street. The theatre was certainly a sight to see tonight – it’s been a long time in coming!

tmsenzig commented about Al. Ringling Theatre on Oct 12, 2006 at 6:44 pm

I live about 20 miles from Baraboo, and I visit the Ringling fairly often. The bulk of its programming today is first-run movies, and they also do stage shows and musical presentations as well. On occasion, they also do free screenings of older films, with a collection being taken up for local food pantries & charities. Early in November, the Baraboo Theatre Guild will be performing Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT on the Ringling stage; I have my ticket already and it will be GREAT!

There is a 3/9 Barton organ that was installed here in 1928. The organ was completely repaired and restored in the 1970s and remains in great playing condition. The organ is not used very much today, other than for a demonstration during daily theatre tours. A couple of years ago (4/1/04) the theatre did a presentation of some Charlie Chaplin silents with Dennis James accompanying at the organ. I can confidently say that was the most magical movie experience I have ever had.

Although I have been to the Ringling MANY times, every time I enter the auditorium today (usually at Aisle 1), I continue to be held in awe of the place, as though I were seeing it for the first time. It’s that powerful. Although visibly in need of an interior restoration (exterior work was completed a few years ago), that does not distract from the spectacle that is the Al Ringling Theatre. The theatre has remained in constant use since opening night in November 1915, and the place has not been significantly altered since. The only changes that come to mind over the years are modern motion picture and sound/lighting equipment, the marquee (installed decades ago, but is not original to the theatre), and the installation in 1928 of the present Barton organ, which replaced the original 1915 Wurlitzer. Even the popcorn machine in the Lobby concession stand is 1940s vintage and still in use—and they still use real butter on their popcorn!

Anyone planning a vacation to the Wisconsin Dells area MUST make a stop at the Ringling a part of their itinerary.

tmsenzig commented about Portage Theatres on Oct 10, 2006 at 9:57 am

Portage Theatres today is a fine modern place to see a movie. Though a far cry from ornate single screen movie house it was in its youth, it is very well kept and modern. It remains as a focal point of downtown portage, as it has for generations. Residents and visitors alike still line up to buy tickets to the latest features at this theatre, which boasts one of the finest digital sound systems in Wisconsin.

tmsenzig commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 9, 2006 at 12:42 pm

I saw the most recent in the Duck Soup Cinema series, with Dennis James accompanying at the Barton, and it was truly magical indeed, even though I was in a less than desirable seat in the balcony. I am planning on attending the next in the series coming up next month.

tmsenzig commented about Gail Theater on Oct 9, 2006 at 12:28 pm

The Gail Theatre was built in 1929 and was located at the east end of the property now occupied by the Hatch Public Library. It closed in the early 1980s when the building was reportedly condemned by the City of Mauston because the owner refused to make necessary repairs and improvements. The building was demolished in September 1993.

Another even older theatre in Mauston that predates the Gail and is not listed on this site was the Majestic. The Majestic was opened by A. G. Doer about 1910 and was located on the south side of State Street two buildings east of Division, but shortly thereafter the establishment was moved to a different building on the north side of State near Hickory. A two manual Link organ was installed at the Majestic in 1926 and the theatre closed in 1929 when the Gail was built.

tmsenzig commented about Lyric Theater on Oct 9, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I will try to post the photo I mentioned above if I get a chance. The photo is in the files of the archives department of the university library in Stevens Point – they also have a lot of info on the Fox as well. The photo I mention is of Main Street at night, and shows the front of both the Lyric and the Fox – nice!

tmsenzig commented about Lyric Theater on Oct 9, 2006 at 12:13 pm

According to local historical sources, the Lyric was opened in 1916 with 499 seats. It was located on the north side of Main Street, near the west end of the present Shopko parking lot and driveway/city bus stop, a few doors east of where the Fox Theatre still stands. I have seen an old photograph (1940s or early 50s maybe?) that confirms this. Judging from the photo, the Lyric was smaller in comparison to the Fox, so a seating capacity of 900 is most unlikely (the larger Fox Theatre only seated about 600 when it opened). The Lyric was home to a two manual Barton organ.