Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse re-opens in Wauwatosa

WAUWATOSA -- The historic Rosebud Cinema is back in business. After closing down last spring, Lee Barczak bought the theater and made renovations. Many movie-goers may find the Rosebud experience is not what they're used to.

The Times Cinema and the Rosebud Cinema were closed after falling into foreclosure.

AnchorBank won a foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of the theaters, after which a search was on by the court-appointed property manager to find a new operator.

The cutting of a gold ticket this weekend marked a new era for the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse.

“A throwback to a neighborhood theater. We totally redid the exterior with a new paint scheme and inside we painted again and added some new furniture,” Barczak said.

Complete with couches and tables, the theater also boasts an extensive dinner menu and full bar.

Movie-goers said they would visit the theater for the ambiance alone.

“I would rather go out of my way to come to a place like this than maybe go to a regular theater and have to deal with some kind of trouble and the things that can go on there and all the kids,” Paul Killion said.

Drawing business is great, but Barczak said what he really invested in is the neighborhood.

"We can all name neighborhoods that cause people to be excited and in fact draw people to live there just because of what is going on in those businesses," Barczak said.

Karen Vetting has lived in the area for 42 years.

 “I think it’s going to be great because we want people to stay in the community and the only way that’s going to happen is to have things like this re-open and to be a little different than your normal movie theaters,” Vetting said.

A portion of proceeds from Friday night went to Variety, the Children’s Charity of Wisconsin.

Barczak owns two other theaters -- the Times and Avalon which he is hoping to open soon.

The Rosebud Cinema is located on 68th and North Avenue in Wauwatosa.

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