Lights, camera, action! Movie buffs will love Milwaukee’s unique historic cinemas and annual film events.
The Neighborhood Theater Group operates three great Milwaukee movie theaters. These historic theaters have been brought back to their original glory. Settle in on a comfy couch at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse, beneath the twinkling starry sky at the Avalon Atmospheric Theater or for a midnight cult movie at the Times Cinema. These one-and-two-screen theaters show a wide variety of movies, from blockbusters to indie darlings. All three offer a fully stocked bar, and the Rosebud and Avalon have extensive food menus.
The Milwaukee Film Festival is one of the liveliest cultural events of the whole year, getting the whole city out to Milwaukee’s historic cinemas for 15 exciting days of film each fall. The festival showcases new, classic and cult films. From the Spotlight Presentations and competition films to themed collections like Black Lens, Cine Sin Fronteras, Cinema Hooligante, Art + Artists, and Film Feasts, everyone can find a movie to thrill them. Panels, conversations, music, and community events get the public involved with the creators, experts, and each other.
A more recent addition to the local film scene is the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance. It was founded in 2016 by Milwaukee Film. The initiative supports all forms of media, television, and filmmaking, both artistic and commercial, from Milwaukee to the world and from the world to Milwaukee. The MFA strives to grow and sustain a diverse and vibrant creative community of storytellers from all corners of the industry.
The city is also home to the Milwaukee LGBT Film Festival, presented by UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. The Oriental Theatre, which plays host to both festivals, is Milwaukee’s premier historic film venue that was built in 1927 and still screens both major and independent releases.