Oriental Theatre reopens under new ownership bringing upgraded picture and sound

MILWAUKEE -- After a short hiatus and a change in management, the iconic Oriental Theatre reopened on Milwaukee's east side on Friday, Aug. 10.

Milwaukee Film took over the lease of the Oriental Theatre on July 1. The new operators say the biggest upgrades come in the form of picture and sound.

After taking over the lease, Milwaukee Film wasn't about the change the look and feel of the space.

"We can make the best of all the films made available to us," said Sara Meaney, Oriental Theatre.

They have improved the picture and sound.

"One of the first major investments was of course new audio and new projections for all three of the screens at the Oriental Theatre," said Meaney,

Sara Meaney says the movie house can handle a variety of film formats.

"We now have 35 mm, 70 mm, 4K and 2K digital projection equipment," Meaney said.

Friday is the first full day of showtimes since Milwaukee Film assumed the lease on July 1.

"I actually think this theater is really beautiful. I love the way it feels, a lot fancier than a normal movie theater," said Taylor Majewski.

Taylor Majewski

Taylor Majewski was there Friday for the showing of McQueen, a documentary about the late fashion designer. She was joined by a dozen fellow designers from Kohl's Corporate.

Also new to the theater, the women's bathroom. Believe it or not, the Oriental Theatre has never had a women's bathroom on the ground floor.

"We're not really sure what the real reason why the 1927 architects didn't include a women's bathroom on the first floor," said Meaney.

As far as film selection, the Oriental will blend first and limited run titles.