Rosebud, Times Cinemas going dark after 80 years

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Rosebud Theater

MILWAUKEE — Two of the oldest movie theaters in southeast Wisconsin are closing their doors for good. They are The Times in Milwaukee and The Rosebud, formerly the Tosa Theater.

After some 80 years in operation, the Times and Rosebud are closing their doors because the current owner, David Glazer, has just not been able to keep up with the loan payments.

Glazer bought the theaters in 2007 when investment properties were booming; just before the economy turned south. Glazer declined an on-camera interview, but said in a statement, “Property values have fallen considerably in the last few years… the lending environment today makes it very difficult to renew or refinance commercial loans.”

Glazer goes on to say he tried to negotiate with his lender, but the bank decided to take back four of his investment properties including the theaters.

The historic neighborhood theaters offer a different type of viewing experience. The Times had its classic series and independent films. The Rosebud had rows of love seats and a full menu.

Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy believes the closure of the theaters will be temporary; that they’ll be a permanent part of the neighborhood for years to come. “Part of it’s nostalgia but also I like the intimacy of the theater. You know, sometimes you get in these really big movie theaters and really, this is a community theater,” said Murphy.

The theaters are expected to close in the first week of March.