On the Marquee: The Pabst Theater Group’s Cinematic Adventures

With events like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “An Astrophysicist Goes to The Movies” and “Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage,” the Pabst Theater Group is developing new ways to bring movies to the masses.

RM_NeilTysonIssacDebateWith the announcement of yet another in a series of what I call “film adjacent” screenings, this time Neil DeGrasse Tyson returning to the Riverside Theater next year for a program entitled “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies,” The Pabst Theater Group continues to dip its toes in the cinematic water. Between the unfortunately cancelled evening with Cary Elwes accompanied by a screening of The Princess Bride and the and the unfortunately cancelled (sensing a theme here) evening with Barry Bostwick celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, not to mention next year’s not-yet-cancelled Star Trek event, it’s clear that they’re looking to gain some traction in the realm of film.

This isn’t exactly new, as they’ve been making entrée into the pop culture world for quite some time with their Walking Dead, Archer and Bob’s Burgers-themed evenings with the cast and creators, but it does point to an interesting future for additional film screenings in the Milwaukee area. Setting aside the somewhat queasy nature of the Rocky Horror event (which seemed a bit off given we have a historic movie palace that is already known for having the longest running midnight movie schedule of RHPS), it’s interesting to see this develop as a new means of seeing big screen classics.

I can’t argue for these screenings as cinephile, as they’re clearly designed to bring in a broader audience and have proven to be less than perfect in terms of audio and video presentation, but it is nice to see such large-scale venues being given over to a communal viewing experience. So while the movie itself might not be the pristine experience a movie maniac desires in terms of sparkling audio and a crystal clear digital restoration/film print, the added accoutrement of special guests and other bells and whistles make for unique experiences that move beyond the realm of what I’d deem the ideal cinematic environment.

On the Marquee

Wednesday, November 18: Counting

7 p.m. @ UWM Union Cinema ($5 gen. ad./FREE for students & members)

Wednesday, November 18: The Thief of Baghdad

7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for seniors/students/museum members)

Friday, November 20: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The Night Before, Secret in Their Eyes & Spotlight

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing


Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22: Horse Money and McCabe & Mrs. Miller (35mm)

11/20: 7 p.m./9 p.m., 11/21: 9:30 p.m./7 p.m. & 11/22: 5 p.m./7 p.m. @ UWM Union Cinema ($5 gen. ad./FREE for students & members)

Sunday, November 22: The Green Prince

4 p.m. @ Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center (FREE)



Tom Fuchs is a Milwaukee-based film writer whose early love for cinema has grown into a happy obsession. He graduated with honors in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has since focused on film criticism. He works closely with the Milwaukee Film Festival and has written reviews and ongoing columns for Milwaukee Magazine since 2012. In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs at home (watching movies), taking day trips to Chicago (to see movies), and reading books (about movies). You can follow him on Twitter @tjfuchs or email him at tjfuchs@gmail.com.