By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 15, 2023 at 8:35 AM

On Monday morning, The Pabst Theater Group is getting a new vertical sign installed on The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St.

Installation was underway Monday morning. (PHOTO: Bill Arnold)

The 27-foot-tall sign – made by Janesville's Elevated Identity, which has created many familiar Milwaukee signs – is seven feet wide and was expected to take most of the day to install.

The sign – which is being added in celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Pabst Theater Group – was inspired by a previous sign that hung on the building from 1928 until 1974.

An official unveiling ceremony is slated for 4 p.m. on Wednesday. There will be free beer, drawings for concert tickets and more.

“As we celebrate over 20 years of the Pabst Theater Group, we're reminded that we're lucky to have such an important landmark that has long played a role in Milwaukee's soul and identity,” reads an invite to the event.

Original sign
The previous sign, as seen in 1961. (PHOTO: Sylvester (Les) Pacholski Jr., courtesy of Luke Pacholski)
(PHOTO: Courtesy of Pabst Theater Group)

“The new design celebrates the past as we look toward the future, drawing inspiration from the theater and the original sign from the 1920s-1970s.”

Among the speakers at Wednesday's unveiling are Alds. Robert Bauman and José G. Pérez, and Pabst Theater Group President & CEO Gary Witt.

The sign joins new so-called blade signs installed in recent years by PTG at the Riverside (2015) and Turner Hall (2019).

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra also installed one on its Bradley Symphony Center on 2nd and Wisconsin in 2020.

More photos from Monday's intallation, courtesy of The Pabst Theater Group's Hillary Dunn:


A smaller version of the sign:

model signX


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.