The oldest operating movie theater in the United States is the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Established in 1927, the theater has been continuously operating for 93 years and is one of the few remaining single-screen theaters in the country.
It was originally owned by a local businessman and then purchased by local movie magnate Marcus Theatres in 1945. For much of its history, it served as an independent “art house” theater, offering a variety of classic and foreign films.
In 1999, the theater underwent a major renovation and expansion project that saw it upgraded to include digital projection technology, stadium seating with enhanced sound systems, and modern amenities such as air conditioning. This allowed the Riverside to become a first-run movie theater once again, showing major Hollywood releases alongside its more eclectic film offerings.
Today, the Riverside Theater is still viewed as an important cultural landmark for Milwaukee and Wisconsin residents alike. It continues to offer both independent movies as well as first-run Hollywood releases on its single screen every day except Monday. The theater’s commitment to showcasing new films has earned it several awards over the years, including being named one of the top 10 movie theaters in America by USA Today in 2014.
The Riverside Theater has remained true to its roots even after almost a century of operation. By continuing to provide quality entertainment to its patrons from all walks of life while also embracing modern technology, it stands as an example of how classic cinema can be adapted and appreciated in today’s world.
The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee is the oldest operating movie theater in the United States. Established in 1927, it has been continuously running for 93 years and is one of few remaining single-screen theaters still open today. By upgrading its technology while still providing quality entertainment to patrons from all walks of life, it stands as an example of how classic cinema can be adapted and appreciated even today.