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As the curtain first opened on September 1st, 1927, Kenoshans were treated to a vaudeville performance and a silent motion picture set to music by the "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ. The history of the Kenosha Theatre is one that follows the overall history of Kenosha as well. Opened by Carl Laemmle, president of Universal Studios, at a thriving time for vaudeville, motion pictures and Kenosha's downtown, it was designed to be a state of the art theatre. It is this vision, planning and fine craftsmanship that has allowed the theatre to remain in great structural condition after all these years; in spite of many prior years of neglect. It was part of the Milwaukee Theatre Circuit and headliners included Frank Sinatra, the Tommy Dorsey Band, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Harry James, Lawrence Welk and many more popular stars of the day. The Kenosha Theatre closed in 1963 and, though the downtown area has undergone a number of changes, the theatre has stood as a silent reminder of days gone by.
Along with the changes downtown, the surrounding communities have also changed significantly. There is a greater need now than there ever has been for the Kenosha Theatre to re-open as a live entertainment center. To see live, high quality, popular, nationally performing acts, you must travel outside the immediate area to Chicago or Milwaukee. The restoration of the Kenosha Theatre will begin a new era by bringing back the past. Kenosha will once again become a stop for touring entertainers on the national circuit. Its magnificent and palatial house will once again be graced by the sights and sounds of today's top-name performers. It will provide many educational opportunities for our youth and help to continue the re-birth of Kenosha's downtown.
We welcome you to our website to find out more about this exciting and important project and encourage you to join us in bringing in this new era.
Working together, a community can accomplish almost anything...
|© The Citizens' Group for the Kenosha Theater|