Five of the best movie theaters for Marquette students


Photo by Milwaukee Film

Moviegoers look on in the grand auditorium of the Oriental Theatre at the 2012 MKE Film Fest.

Here at Marquette, we do not have a theater next-door to campus. Fortunately, our Milwaukee County Transit System bus pass can take us to these terrific movie theaters and allow us to enjoy the films we so desperately wish to see in the midst of Oscar Season. Here’s a list of just five fantastic theaters within the Milwaukee area:


Oriental Theatre  (2230 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53202)

Weekday/Weekend Standards: $10.00/ticket

Student Weekend Standard (w/ ID): $8.00/ticket

Bus Route from MU: Route #30 to Prospect/North (Stop 43)

As one of the most renowned theaters in America, Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre remains one of the last few of its kind. The building, located on Milwaukee’s Upper East Side, appears small from the outside, but audiences step into the lobby and immediately realize there’s more to the space than meets the eye. Elegant designs and beautiful architecture gives moviegoers an experience distinct from typical trips to the cinema. Each of its three theaters feature heavily-Asian influences just like the lobb and an orange glows covers the beautifully painted murals on the walls. Most impressive is the grand theater, which is comparable to a small-scale opera theater. The Oriental hits us with a wave of history and every moviegoer should experience a film in this extravagant theater at least once during their time
at Marquette.

Downer Theatre (2589 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53211)

Weekday/Weekend Standards: $10.00/ticket

Student Weekend Standard (w/ ID): $8.00/ticket

Bus Route from MU: Route #30 to Downer/Park (Stop 48)

Along with the Oriental, the Downer Theatre is part of a chain of Landmark Theatres spread out all across the country. The Downer is known for showing avant-garde pictures, particularly independent films. The twin-screening theater prides itself on interior design, consisting of carpet patterns replicating  original 1915 patterns and dimly lit auditoriums. Like the Oriental, the Downer has a historic feel to its architecture, but on a smaller scale. Regardless of its size, the Downer is currently the oldest operating movie theater in Milwaukee. It celebrates its 100th anniversary this December as it continues to attract audiences from all across Milwaukee.


AMC Theaters @ Mayfair Mall 18 (2500 N Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa, WI, 53226)

Weekday/Weekend Standards: $10.00/ticket

No Student Discounts

Bus Route from MU: Route #31 to North/Mayfair (Stop 68)

For students interested in the most recent films, the nearest theater chain is located at Mayfair Mall, only a few minutes from campus, in Wauwatosa. Moviegoers can find the theaters inside the mall itself and expect the usual AMC experience. AMC shows more films at one time than the Landmark theaters and audiences have a wider variety to choose from. Included at AMC is an IMAX screen used to show films on a significantly larger screen than other auditoriums.


Fox Bay Cinema Grill (343 E. Silver Spring Dr., Milwaukee, WI, 53217)

Weekday/Weekend Standards: $9.50/ticket + Cost of Food

No Student Discounts

Bus Route from MU: Route #30 Eastward, Transfer to #14 on Wisconsin/Jefferson Route #14 to Silver Spring/Santa Monica

Unlike any other Milwaukee theater, Fox Bay Cinema Grill serves a full meal to go along with the film. Here’s how it works: The viewer is seated and greeted by the waiting staff, who distribute menus. During previews, the server takes orders just like at a regular restaurant. Food consists of typical American grill: pizza, burgers, sandwiches and other meals. The food comes out as the movie is playing and the check arrives with 20-30 minutes left in the film. Fox Bay’s “dinner and a movie” style is hard to pass up. The entire system spells out “convenience” for those on a tight schedule. Like AMC, Fox Bay shows the most recent films, but only three at a time. For any couples looking for a movie night, Fox Bay Cinema Grill is the theater
for you.


Honorable Mention: Marcus Majestic Cinema (770 North Springdale Road, Brookfield, WI 53186)

Weekday/Weekend Standards: $8 for matinees, $10 after 5pm

$5 Tuesdays (Tickets for all movies are $5; free popcorn for Magical Movie Rewards members)
$5 Student Thursdays (Tickets for all movies are $5 with school ID; free popcorn included)

Although the Majestic is further from campus—about 20 minutes by car—the experience it gives moviegoers is worth the trip. As you walk in, you are greeted by live piano music and famous movie quotes written on the wall. The theater has 16 auditoriums, including two Ultrascreens (72 feet wide and three stories tall) and the Big Screen Bistro dine-in theater, which offers full-course meals during the film. If its concessions don’t sound appetizing, you can order pizza from Zaffiro’s or a sweet treat from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Shop, both located in the lobby. With these amenities plus its competitive discounts, the Majestic makes for a great spot for a film away from campus.