Fire guts historic Milwaukee theater

State Theater opened in 1915
Posted at 6:29 AM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 18:33:59-05

 As fire investigators continue to look for a cause of Thursday's fire at the State Theater in Milwaukee, residents are stopping by the boarded up site reminiscing about the past.

The theater was opened in 1915 and served as a movie theater until the 1950's. During that time, Jim Locke would come to see the latest show.

“We'd go like to the movies, the Saturday movie,” Locke said. “That was a thrill because at that time most kids would go to the Saturday movies...spend your dime and have a good time." editor Bobby Tanzilo recently went back inside the building for a story in 2015. He said evidence of the building's storied past was on display.

“Backstage there was still graffiti from the bands that had played there,” Tanzilo said. “There were stripper polls from when it was a gentleman's club."

Tanzilo says the 70's was the heyday for the theater turned night club.

"In '79 it becomes the Palms and that's when The Police played, U2 played there, all kinds of bands,” he said. “The Stray Cats played there, Tom Petty played there and that's what most people remember it as."

The building is owned by the Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority and was vacant at the time of the fire. The Milwaukee Fire Department estimates the damage to be close to $300,000.


Be sure and try our new SNOWCAST APP! It is the "snow equivalent to STORM SHIELD" - a great new product that gives you high resolution snow forecasts for any part of the nation! It has just been introduced for iPhones, but we are working on the Android version! Just search SNOWCAST in the App Store or click here.