<< Go Back up to Atmospheric Theatres Main Page

Meyer Theatre (photo credit Meyer Theatre)

Meyer Theatre

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

First Opened: 14th February 1930 (94 years ago)

Reopened: 27th February 2002

Atmospheric Style: Spanish Villa

Architect: Larry P. Larsen

Former Names: Fox Theatre, Bay Theatre, Bay 3

Website: www.meyertheatre.org Link opens in new window

Address: 117 S. Washington St, Green Bay, WI 54301 Link opens in new window

Contributing building to the Green Bay Downtown Historic District: #100003920 Link opens in new window (added 13th May 2019)

National Register of Historic Places: #00000256 Link opens in new window (added 24th March 2000)


The 2,250-seat theatre opened as the Fox Theatre on Valentines Day in 1930, noted as being one of the coldest nights of the Winter that year!

The opening night program, which was performed twice to capacity crowds, consisted of an organ recital given by Jack Martin on the theatre’s Wurlitzer theatre organ (opus 2091); footage of a previous years’ Packers victory; comedy short Mickey’s Choo-Choo (1929) Link opens in new window;and the main feature Harmony at Home (1930) Link opens in new window starring Marguerite Churchill and Rex Bell.

The theatre was built by the Green Bay Building Corporation, formed in May 1929 specifically to fund and own the theatre. The corporation agreed a 25-year lease with Midwesco Theaters, Inc. (the division of the Fox Studio empire responsible for holding and managing Wisconsin theatres) to operate the new theatre as a Fox first-run movie theatre.

Constriction started in July 1929 and was completed just seven months later. Design was by the Chicago-based United Studios, Inc., of which Larry P. Larsen was President and Managing Art Director. The general contractor was the Immel Construction Company of Fond du Lac, WI. Immel was probably responsible for the Art Deco exterior design that was so notably different to the theatre’s interior.

The exterior of the theatre building features Art Deco ornamentation. The Fox Theatre Building, adjacent to the theatre and built at the same time, carries on the Art Deco theme and both exteriors are carried-out in brick and terracotta.

After Fox Theatres Inc. declared bankruptcy in 1933, the theatre came to be operated by Warner Bros. and the name changed to the Bay Theatre in an arrangement that started on 2nd September 1933 and lasted until 1998.

In 1978 the auditorium was triplex’d, i.e. split into three separate auditoria; two at main floor level and one large auditorium at balcony level. The theatre become known as the Bay 3. The alterations were done as simply and inexpensively as possible and as a result would prove to be readily reversible many years later. In the mid-1990s the theatre converted to second-run movies.

In the early 2000’s, the theatre underwent an $8 million renovation that included restoration of the main auditorium. The theatre was renamed the Robert T. Meyer Theatre in honor of former Green Bay businessman Meyer. The theatre reopened in late February 2002 under the management of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2008, the theatre’s original 2-manual, 8-rank Wurlitzer pipe organ (opus 2019), was restored and returned to the theatre with funds generously donated by Irene Daniell Kress. The pipes are housed in the second level organ chamber. This very unique instrument is one of only a few across the country still being used today in its original theatre.

In 2011, the theatre’s marquee was replaced. The original marquee had been replaced in the 1960s and was destroyed in a windstorm in March 2006. The new $120,000 marquee, supplied by Reinhold Signs Link opens in new window, drew inspiration from the theatre’s original 1930 marquee.

The Meyer Theatre is now a popular live events venue in Downtown Green Bay, with a capacity of 1.011 and featuring rock and pop concerts, comedy shows, symphony concerts, plays and much more. The theatre is owned by non-profit entity Meyer Theatre Corporation which boasts a community board of directors; the theatre is managed by PMI Entertainment Group Link opens in new window.

Further Reading


Historic Photos & Documents
Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photographs copyright © 2002-2024 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2024 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here Contact Us.

Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook