Downtown Cinema

315 S. Barstow Street,
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 14 comments

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

theatre dates in town.

Found on

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Renamed Downtown Cinema on October 3rd, 1973. Two screens on December 20th, 1985 Ads in photo section

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Reopened on June 14th, 1967 Full-page ad below:

Found on

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

This opened as Cameo on December 21st, 1946.

Found on

BOBinWI on November 10, 2017 at 12:30 am

movieman457: I appreciate your information. I worked as a part-time usher for MN Amusement at the STATE a few years around 1957. I got 70 cents an hour and usually had 13 hours a week. Congress raised the minimum wage to $1.05 about 1958. One of the full-time ushers, Ron, bought a 53 BUICK and married the popcorn girl.

Floyd Nutting was our manager. He had me trained to repair seat cushions. I got 35 cents each. If I hustled I could do four an hour. I also set the marquee which in those days changed twice a week: an A picture Thur-Sun and then a B picture the rest of the week.

We had “South Pacific” and Godzilla" and a few 3D flicks.
It was my first job in show business.

psycmeistr on January 10, 2016 at 2:57 am

I saw ‘Purple Rain’ here in the 1980s.

MrZ on November 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Eau Claire’s own downtown budget theater celebrates its grand re-opening tonight with more than a few changes to show for its extensive remodeling. At the Micon Cinemas Downtown Budget Cinema and Marquee Restaurant, all of the films have now gone digital, a 50-seat screening room was added to the second level, and a restaurant now serves food and beverages to moviegoers. In addition to the theater’s high quality popcorn, the restaurant will serve pizza, sandwiches, flatbread, pulled pork, and alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. While alcohol will be served, the owners say it is a secondary focus to the restaurant, and the theater is still a great family experience. The concessions stand at the newly re-opened theater. The new concessions stand. The owners, Mike and Connie Olson of Micon Cinemas, intend to use these changes, along with a slight rebranding, to bring more independant, rare and award-winning films to the culture of downtown Eau Claire. With the new upstairs screening room, they’re planning events like a Saturday morning cartoon block, private showings, and maybe even a film festival. Above all, they want give people more reasons to spend a night out at the movies. Tickets will still cost $4/adult and $3/child (Tues. $3/$2). Tonight they’ll be showing the academy award winner for best animated picture Big Hero Six [PG], a family-friendly, action adventure and the winner for best picture Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance [R], a comedy-drama. This seems like an incredible investment in the culture and future of downtown Eau Claire and this moviegoer intends to be a frequent patron. Head to for showtimes and to learn more. The theater is located at 315 S. Barstow St.

dallasmovietheaters on September 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm

The Cameo was indeed constructed in 1945 but wartime shortages of materials led to the theatre’s delay finally opening on Christmas Day 1946 with the banner “Our Christmas gift to Eau Claire.” The MIndako Circuit is credited as the first operator of the theatre on that day.

movieman547 on February 11, 2012 at 6:20 am

It was built in 1945 by Minnesota Amusement Company the owners of the other theatres in Eau Claire at that time, (State Theatre, O'Klare Theater, Badger Theatre) The Hollywood Theatre was under construction at that time also, it was being built by Sheldon Grengs. To my knowledge, MN Amusement Co. put up the Cameo in hopes of keeping the Grengs family from completing construction of the Hollywood. The plan didn’t work out, the Hollywood construction was completed and opened. The Cameo was open until 1951 then closed until 1966, when Gene Grengs, Sheldon Grengs son re opened it as the Cinema 1 theatre in 1966. It ran as a first run theatre til 1992, then closed for a year and re-opened as a Budget theatre in October 1993. It was called the Cameo Budget Theatre until Sept 2010 when Micon Cinemas of Chippewa Falls purchased the Grengs Theatres and re-named it the “Downtown Cinema. I know a lot of Eau Claire theatre history, as I have worked at them since 1976, and done extensive research.

Trolleyguy on November 30, 2011 at 3:50 am

Theater website refers to it as “Downtown Cinema>”

kenosharay on January 27, 2011 at 12:18 am

Back when this was a one screen theatre it was known as Cinema 1 for a period of time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 26, 2009 at 3:12 am

In that case, the 1940 date on the Liebenberg and Kaplan papers web site might be a mistake, or perhaps a plan to build in 1940 ran into problems, and then the owner had to wait until after the war to get the project built.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2009 at 7:03 am

Blueprints for a Cameo Theatre at Eau Claire are in the collection of the papers of the architectural firm Liebenberg and Kaplan held by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Various items about the theater in the collection are dated 1940, 1945 and 1946. I don’t know if this was a new building in 1940, or if Liebenberg and Kaplan just did a remodeling of an existing theater.

kenosharay on December 11, 2007 at 3:32 am

This theatre reopened in the 60’s after being used for storage for many years. The premiere movie was The Sound of Music and it played there for over a year. If has not been split into two theatres.