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Note the employee installing Butt Kickers (two transducers) in every seat exclusively in our ATMOS auditoriums.
Quote from our good friend Douglas Trumbull when he accepted his Academy Award and the Phoenix team that worked on the Northtowne project.
We are proud to announce that the Michigan based Phoenix Theatres opened the new Northtowne Theatre on March 16, 2023 after a six month renovation project that included installing: all new heated reclining seats, digital projection, Dolby ATOMOS in two auditoriums and Dolby 7.1 in the other seven screens, and a new attached lobby with self-serve soda bars.
Design Concept by Jordan Hohman and Cory Jacobson
Includes a quote on movie-going from our dear friend Douglas Trumbull
This sign was designed to spell each letter, twinkle and stay fully lit. Complete with chasers down the side and neon at the top and bottom. The font style was designed to pay homage to the Chicago Theatre vertical signage. This was the most fun we had in redesigning this theatre.
The General Cinema Twin Kennedy Mall Theatres were located within the shopping center. In 1987 a new 6 screen theatre was designed by GCC in a separate building in the north west corner of the mall property. The interior twin was then closed by GCC. The 1987 built theatre is the current building.
State Wayne Theatre celebrates 71 years and is getting ready for the Theatre Historical Society tour in June 2018!
General Cinema’s Westgate Cinema was never a drive-in. The drive-in was located behind the shopping center that was anchored originally by the Turnstyle Department Store bordered by Perry Avenue, Wright Avenue and Ohio Street. When the Shopko Store was built (around 1980) the original Turnstyle store was demolished and shopping center was pushed further back to include the former drive-in property. The drive-in was single screen and separate operation that was also named Westgate.
With regard to the indoor theatre, it was built as a twin theatre and two screens were added to the original building on the east side of the property (where a hotel was demolished) and the original large 700 seat auditorium was split. The original plan was to split the second auditorium, but Ben Marcus personally liked the room and picture size and the theatre remained a 5 screen facility.
Devin & Bryce Cameron at the “Kid Brother” premiere party.
Please check out the street view feature. We have included the interior of the theatre as well as the exterior to allow the viewer to move around the theatre with the click of a mouse.
State Wayne Celebrates “Rockytober”
State Wayne Marquee Goes Green
The split that was done in the 1990’s by the City of Wayne was reasonably done. The ceiling is untouched and the split could be easily removed if it was economically reasonable to do so.
Phoenix Theatres Laurel Park Place was renovated in December of 2014 to include 100 percent electric reclining seats and carpeted floors in every auditorium. The theatre’s digital conversion occurred in November 2012 and is equipped with Christie digital projectors and Dolby 7.1 sound in each auditorium.
In April 2014 the theatre was completely renovated to include 100 percent reclining seats and all the auditoriums are fully carpeted. All screens are fully digital featuring Christie Digital projectors in every auditorium and Dolby Digital sound.
The photo shown here is actually of our original Phoenix Theatres Bel-Air Centre, which we closed in June of 2009 and is not Laurel Park Place.
We are pleased to announce that in September of 2014 the Classic State Wayne Theatre building was purchased by Phoenix Theatres from the City of Wayne. A complete upgrade of the seating was made and the theatre now features 100 percent fully reclining electric seats, plus carpeted auditoriums. Additionally, auditorium 3 & 4 were given larger pictures sizes for a new wall to wall digital image.
The theatre was opened in 1935 on the site of a former a Pontiac dealership. The original owner also operated the Tosa Theatre (opened in 1932) located at 68th & North Avenue. With the booming business at the Tosa, the second theatre project was developed. The Times is a very unique theatre building and actually the auditorium
was built into an exhisisting garage building formally known as “The Vliet Street Garage.” The garage portion of the building starts at about the edge of the screen area and extends to the back of the building. This can be seen by examining the bricks on the west wall.
The Times was Milwaukee’s first and only Translux Theatre (projecting the film from behind the screen) The projection booth was later moved to the back 4 to 5 aisles of the theatre when Cinema Scope was introduced in the 1950’s. The Translux rear-projection system utilized a mirror system that could not be used for Cinema Scope. The seating was also replaced at this time (1957) and the new capacity was 448. The Times Theatre was also the first theatre I Managed and during that time (1981-1986) we were able to do some major cleaning up of the facility. We painted everything in sight (with the help of the staff of 7 people) and replaced the Box-office, Concession stand, and carpeting.
The Times Theatre and the Tosa Theatre were also the first Marcus Theatres in Milwaukee and were originally owned by Ben Marcus and if memory serves a man named Smirnoff. These tow theatres were known as S & M Theatres and the this name appeared on some of the theatre records as late as the 1980’s. Smirnoff was an early business partner of Marcus and had interest in several other theatres in out-state Wisconsin. As a side note, Smirnoff’s widow lived in Florida until her death in 1983 or 1984 and she still maintained ownership of the Tosa building. Marcus purchased the Tosa Theatre from her estate for approximately $75,000 at the time of her death.
The Times was and I suspect is unique in that it is the perfect neighborhood theatre. The street was always busy and the merchants in the area always added a great deal of atmosphere. I can recall the thick smell of pine burning at Stienhoff’s Garden Center(they flocked Christmas Trees and Wreaths)and Eric Dobke’s Bakery Doughnuts combining to create an unforgetable combination of smells. Patrons would stand in lines that extended down the block and around the drug store ending well past the alley to see films. “The Big Chill” played at the theatre for 18 weeks and customers would come from every community in Milwaukee for our many exclusive shows.
I currently own two theatres in Detroit and have operated 10 theatres in my lifetime and the Times Theatre will always be my favorite! This was a great experience that not many people have in their life and I wish I could turn back the clock! Glad to see it is still going strong.
Cory A. Jacobson