In Music

Every time I walk in, I'm astounded by the beauty of the former Warner/Grand Theater.

Update: More MSO news, more Warner Grand photos

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Last December, as soon as news emerged that the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra wants to buy the gorgeous Art Deco former Warner/Grand movie palace at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., we went inside to offer you your first look at the place in decades.

Recently, we got an update from the MSO about the status of its plan to restore the theater as its new home, and they invited us back inside to take some more photographs.

According to the MSO's Erin Kogler, the organization has raised a large chunk of its goal of $120 million to purchase and restore the theater, fund an endowment and pay off a pension liability.

"Right now the MSO has secured more than $80 million in pledges and gifts for the project," Kogler told OnMilwaukee.

"We are still on our critical pathway toward opening in September 2019, and the project is continuing to progress as we meet our milestones. As you know, we are working with Kahler Slater, and we are finalizing plans and details of the build."

There is a complete history of the theater, more details on the MSO project and many photos here.

Last week we went back inside the 1930 Rapp & Rapp-designed theater with the MSO to get more images...

Front of house


Yep, it's still beautiful.


A decorative arch in the auditorium.


Ornate textile valance in the auditorium, beneath the balcony.

Common areas


Now that's a bubbler!


Why St. George is, ahem, slaying the dragon in the men's room I can't say.


Doesn't every movie theater have a beautiful fountain between the rest rooms?


An orange aura in a lobby aisle.

Behind the scenes


Pneumatic tubes connecting box office with a basement office.


A phone connecting every aspect of the theater's operations, with extensions still labeled.

On the stage




The ladder to...?


The lighting panel.


Rigging ropes.


Cut this rope, but only in case of fire.


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