“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Waukesha in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Waukesha Civic Theatre (WCT)

Waukesha Civic Theatre (WCT) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Linda Hansen, 2009
1. Waukesha Civic Theatre (WCT) Marker
Inscription. Formed in 1957 as a community theatre, the Waukesha Civic Theatre performed at Waukesha High School until 1964 when it purchased a former church at 506 North Washington Avenue. In 1999 it moved to this location; made possible through many generous donations. The building is the former Pix Movie Theatre, which operated from the 1920's until the 1980's.

The Bryce and Anne Styza Family donated the building and the Anthony and Andrea Bryant Family contributed greatly to the renovation. The building is named the Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre Building in honor of Tony Bryant's mother, a local actress. In 1999 the Wisconsin Historical Society listed the Pix Theatre on the State register of historic places.

In 2007, WCT celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is one of only 100 community theatres in the U.S. on record for at least 50 years of operation.
Erected 2007 by Waukesha County Historical Museum. (Marker Number 34-13.)
Location. 43° 0.713′ N, 88° 13.844′ W. Marker is in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker can be reached from Main Street. Touch for map. Located behind the Civic Theatre on the road through the parking lot next to the river. Marker is at or near this postal address: 264 West Main Street, Waukesha WI 53186, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.

Front of Waukesha Civic Theatre image. Click for full size.
By Linda Hansen, 2009
2. Front of Waukesha Civic Theatre
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rotunda (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Waukesha Freeman (about 500 feet away); Cohn's Shoe Store (about 700 feet away); American Legion Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Courthouse Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Waukesha City - Cutler Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Prehistoric Indian Mound (approx. mile away); Les Paul (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waukesha.
Additional comments.
1. History of the Pix Theater building.
The Pix Theater was built in 1939 on the site of the old Gaspar Building built in 1906 to house the Empire Theater, operating as a nickelodeon. Patrons at the Pix opening in 1940 were given a booklet which told them about the decor including porcelain, stainless steel, walnut veneer, pine square inlays, richly-padded Crestwood carpet of French modern design and streamlined spring-seat chairs which put the viewer four inches above the person seated in front of them. The first movie shown was "Edison the Man." First run features were shown here after they had run at the Park Theater first. In 1947 there were three theaters in downtown Waukesha owned by one company; the Avon, the Park, and the Pix.

In 1977 the Pix and the Park were bought by James Gudmundson.
Waukesha Civic Theatre Front Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Linda Hansen, 2009
3. Waukesha Civic Theatre Front Entrance
In 1983, due to competition outside of the downtown area by other theaters, the Pix was completely remodeled, reducing the seating from 500 to 290. In 1992 the outside of the theater was updated to add brick. However, the competition only made matters worse for the last downtown theater, and finally the Pix was no longer viable as a movie theater. The last movie shown was "Seven."

In 1996 the building was sold to Bruce Styza, as a possible site for a parking lot. After much fundraising by the Waukesha Civic Theatre, the building was saved and redone so that the outside once again resembled the original theater. The inside was completely redone in art deco style to reflect the time period in which it was built. This newly remodeled space became the home of the Waukesha Civic Theatre.
    — Submitted April 8, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
Waukesha Civic Theatre Back Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Linda Hansen, 2009
4. Waukesha Civic Theatre Back Entrance
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 8, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,016 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 8, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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