Pabst Theater Collection

Title: Pabst Theater Collection

Manuscript Number: Mss-1717

Inclusive Dates: 1895 – ongoing

Bulk: 6.03 cu ft. total + 32 items

Location:        GV, Sh. 062 (2.6 cu. ft.)
RC10, Sh. 005-008 (3.4 cu. ft.)
Sm Mss (0.03 cu. ft.)

Scope and Content: Located at 144 E Wells in downtown Milwaukee, the Pabst Theater is on the original site of Nunnemacher’s Grand Opera House which was built in 1871. In 1890, the Nunnemacher was purchased by Captain Fred Pabst and renamed the Stadt Theater.  The Stadt was burned in January of 1895 and was replaced by the Pabst Theater which was designed by Otto Strack and completed in November of 1895.  The theater has undergone extensive remodeling, including work done in 1928, 1937, 1975, and 1989.

The bulk of the collection is composed of theater programs spanning the years 1895-1930 (not inclusive), 1923-1996 (not inclusive), 18 bound books containing theater programs for the full 1895 season, and the seasons 1897-1925 (not inclusive) and several oversized handbills.  Included in the collection is a small manuscript component that contains correspondence concerning Conrad Schmitt Studio’s involvement with renovation and remodeling 1928-1975; timeline chronology of theater; Historic American Buildings Survey, 1970; national Register of Historic Places nomination form (copy) 1972; The Pabst newsletter, Jan/Mar/May 1995; calendar of events, 1991-92; correspondence and information on Pabst performer Otto Rhein, 1991; Conrad Schmitt Studios promotional flyer on Pabst Theater; clippings and articles on Pabst theater, 1976, 1978; two commemorative napkins, “Pabst Theater 100 Years”; “Pabst Theater: A Self guided Walking Tour,” 1976 brochure; and a Pabst Theater Capital campaign Report to Donors, 2002.
Book: Bound theater programs for 1895 season: ER, Shelf 242Books: 17 bound theater programs for 1897-1925 seasons (not inclusive) RC10, Shelves 5-8Handbills: See OS SM,”P”

  • “Castle House in Modern Dance At Pabst Theatre” May, 1914
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Warner Bros.)
  • “The Rose of the Rancho”(Frances Starr) March 26-28, 1907-08 season
  • “Stars of the 1898-99 Season” (German text).
  • 28 German language Pabst Theater event-newspapers, 1906-1931 (not inclusive)

Access and Use: No restrictionsLanguage: English, GermanAdministrative Note:  Processed by R. Fuhrman, April 2014: Retyped October 2014 by Steve Schaffer  

Theater programs, 1895-1930 (Not inclusive) Box 1 Folders 1-30
Theater programs, 1923-1990 (Not inclusive) Box 2 Folders 31-50
Theater programs, 1990-1999 (not inclusive) Box 3 Folders 51-60
Manuscript collection Sm Mss 40 items