By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jul 19, 2021 at 1:31 PM

It's lights, camera, action for the new and improved Oriental Theatre, as Milwaukee Film announced that its legendary East Side movie house will reopen on Aug. 20 – rolling film in person for the first time in over a year. 

The Oriental Theatre originally closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and kept its doors shut ever since then – but Milwaukee Film still kept busy during the shutdown. In addition to streaming films online via virtual platforms – including both the 2020 and 2021 Milwaukee Film Festivals – the organization used the downtime to finish the multi-phase renovations to the almost-century-old movie palace, updating and fixing the building while still maintaining its iconic retro charms.

For a sneak peak inside at the latest renovations, click here

“We are so excited to have film fans back in our beloved theatre,” said Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film CEO, in a press release. “We’ve been patiently awaiting this day for a long time and cannot wait to once again open our doors for moviegoers to experience the wonder that is the Oriental Theatre. With our restoration work completed during the pandemic, Milwaukee’s historic architectural icon is ready again to transport our community via movie magic like nowhere else in the country.” 

The Oriental Theatre fittingly has a highly-anticipated movie booked for its highly-anticipated reopening: "CODA," the Sundance-winning family drama about a young teen CODA – "child of deaf adults" – who tries to decide between following her passion for music or following in her family's footsteps in their fishing business. 

The Oriental will also showcase its Cultures & Communities Festival shortly after its reopening on Sept. 6-12. 

Tickets will go on sale beginning Thursday, Aug. 12. For more information on showtimes and the reopening, visit Milwaukee Film's website – and we'll see you finally back at the movies!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.