Riverside Theater undergoing six week renovation

Historic theater long overdue for freshening up
Posted at 8:15 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 21:15:40-04

The Riverside Theater in downtown Milwaukee is undergoing a six-week renovation.

Crews are removing the more than 1,000 red seats on the balcony. They will then scrape off the paint, re-stain and re-paint the balcony and replace the beer-stained carpet.

Artist dressing rooms, the dining hall and the bathrooms will also be remodeled.

Joe Friberg of Joe's Painting is doing most of the painting.

  • Weissgerber's Gasthaus In Waukesha Closing After 33 Years
  • "It gives you a lot of pride when you have a beautiful showplace like this," Friberg said. "I mean, the Riverside is a rock and roll palace, isn't it?"

    It’s a palace that is shutting down for six weeks, which means the Pabst Theater Group had to say no to acts that wanted to play there during that time.

    "I wish I was at liberty to tell you the number of wonderful artists we've had to say no to over these six weeks," said Andy Nelson, public relations director at the Pabst Theater Group.

  • Caught On Camera: Man Tries To Rob Bank In Racine
  • But six weeks is a small price to keep the Pabst Theater Group's jewel alive for generations.

    "No matter what the newest, greatest, hippest thing we could book, there's also greater meaning to what this place is and what it's meant to Milwaukee way before we were ever booking shows," Nelson said.

    The seats will soon be up for sale with proceeds benefiting charity.

    The Pabst Theater Group plans to release more information about the seat sale in the coming days.