Oasis Theatre

2626 W. Center Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53206

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Additional Info

Architects: Martin S. Tullgren

Firms: Martin Tullgren & Sons Co.

Functions: Community Center, Museum

Previous Names: Savoy Theatre

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Oasis Theatre

Opened as the Savoy Theatre in 1914 on Center Street between 26th and 27th Streets, this theatre was renamed the Oasis Theatre by the 1960’s.

In the late-1960’s, the Black Panthers protested the Oasis Theatre, for what it felt was the movie house’s racist policies towards African-American patrons. The Oasis Theatre closed around 1978. The former theatre later housed a bar, and is now home to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

JimRankin on January 7, 2005 at 3:31 pm

The OASIS never had an Egyptian decor; the reason for the name is unknown. It was a typical box beams-and-pilasters decor, that was not materially remodeled when it changed names. It is in a decaying neighborhood and now is a tavern/bar.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 7, 2005 at 4:51 pm

The Film Daily Yearbok, 1941 gives a seating capacity of 800 for the Savoy Theater. In the 1950 edition it had reduced slightly to 761.

TimothyRuf on April 4, 2005 at 5:46 pm

This building is currently not in use.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

Small photo in Boxoffice magazine, May 12, 1958:
View link
(Top right.)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

That Golden Toned Barton Theater Pipe Organ was a 2/, manual/, keyboards/, shipped from the Barton factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1926 to the Savoy Theatre. Does anyone know what happened to organ?

Trolleyguy on June 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Google Street View is way off. The former theatre is now part of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

gtmokeith on May 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

I grew up on 36th and Locust and usually every Sunday I’d walk down to the Oasis and see anything that they were showing, usually staying through several shows. Saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Swiss Family Robinson, so many more. I don’t remember the building being anything special. Probably took my life in own hands walking up and down Fond du Lac ave.

jwmovies on March 21, 2019 at 7:57 am

This closed later than the 1975. Read the marquee. The Boys from Brazil (one of my favorite movies BTW) was released in 1978.

LouRugani on January 24, 2022 at 11:26 pm

Martin S. Tullgren was the architect.

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