Readers’ Choice: More of the Best Movie Theaters in America

The Oriental, Milwaukee, WI

“Where’s the Oriental in Milwaukee and the Orpheum in Madison, WI???????” – William Dais
The Oriental in Milwaukee is an old school movie palace–lions and Buddhas and pipe organs. (oh my).” – Marni Chan

The Oriental dates clear back to 1927, and in sharp contrast to many of our other favorites, has shown films continuously for (as their website proudly proclaims) “84 years solid.” Operated by the art-house Landmark chain since 1976, the Oriental sports all of the original design elements, a Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ, a full-service bar, and weekend midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show — in fact, the Oriental is the record holder for longest continuous run of the film in America (it’s been playing there since January 1978).

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  1. […] Come to find out, people are very passionate about their favorite movie theaters. After carefully surveying friends and colleagues from all over the country, we managed to get a list of the country’s best down to a manageable dozen houses, based either on the quality of presentation, the eclecticism of the programming, or both. These days, when too many movie theaters are, to paraphrase Ebert, value-added popcorn stands, these venues deserve kudos for still striving to make movie-going an experience. Check them out after the jump, and if we left off your favorite, we’re certain you’ll let us know in the comments (UPDATE: And that you did, and we listened–read part two of this list here.) […]