By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 25, 2005 at 5:29 AM

{image1}Bill and Pamela Stace, who have owned the Miramar Theatre, 2844 N. Oakland Ave. -- and the recording studio it houses, Walls Have Ears -- for six years have launched an appeal to friends and fans of the theater to raise the funds required to keep it open.

"The Miramar Theatre has now come to a crossroad in its existence that threatens its future," the Staces wrote in an e-mail sent out late Thursday night. "The theater is in the midst of a grave financial crisis and needs outside support to continue operating. There are many prospects on the horizon for new shows and new plans, but if the Miramar cannot raise $70,000 to $100,000 before May 1 we will be forced to close."

The Staces explained that as a for-profit business the theater cannot apply for the grant money that keeps many such small arts venues alive. Ticket revenues, sponsorships and theater rentals have provided insufficient income.

"We are asking for any financial contribution you can give. Your gift will not go unrecognized, however, because for any contribution over $100, we will give a gift certificate for two tickets to any future Miramar show. Investors are also welcome to contact us."

A former vaudeville house and movie theater, the Miramar was also the home to the Milwaukee Rep for a number of years and housed the Metropole, a rock club, in the 1970s and early '80s.

The Staces bought the theater six years ago as a home for Walls Have Ears but also as a place to stage concerts, theater and dance performances and other events. It has, over the years, fulfilled that goal, drawing diverse crowds with a wide range of productions, from comedy performances to rock operas to emo concerts to film screenings and more. It was recently the site of a three-day rock extravaganza, St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

"We do not want something for nothing, only a chance to continue to grow," wrote the Staces. "We look forward to seeing you for many more years."

Contact Bill and Pamela Stace at (414) 967-0302 or at

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.