All visitors must provide a valid ID and either their vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours of visiting the building. Pabst Theater Group's outside security vendor will verify all visitor credentials. Visitors without these documents will be denied access during Doors Open.
To visit this site during Doors Open, all visitors (including children 12 and under), must have the following:
Valid proof of full vaccination (final dose must be at least 14 days prior to event) OR Valid proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show
About Pabst Theater
Milwaukee’s jewel box, The Pabst Theater, was built in 1895 by brewing magnate Captain Frederick Pabst. Designed by architect Otto Strack in the style of the great European opera houses, The Pabst’s beautiful Baroque interior includes an Austrian crystal chandelier, a staircase crafted from white Italian Carrara marble and a proscenium arch, highlighted in gold leaf, framing the stage.
The Pabst Theater rose from the ashes of Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater (The New German City Theater), which had been built by Captain Pabst in 1890. When informed of the fire while on vacation in Europe in 1895, Captain Pabst reportedly cabled, “Rebuild at once!” In the remarkably short time of 11 months, the theater was rebuilt in glorious fashion.
The auditorium is drum-shaped with two balconies, stunningly adorned in reds and maroons with gold and silver accents. A magnificent crystal chandelier that weighs over two tons hangs over the auditorium. Measuring twelve feet in width by sixteen feet high, it is lowered to seat level once a year so that its 33,000 running inches of Austrian crystal can be cleaned.
In 1989, The Pabst Theater was connected to the new $120 million Milwaukee Center. The latest renovations to the theater, which began in 2000, were designed to increase patron comfort and make the theater fully accessible to handicapped and elderly patrons. Two elevators were installed, accessing all five floors of the theater. The Gallery was remodeled with 300 larger plush seats and the theater’s ventilation system was modernized. More restrooms were added and the lobby was expanded to include Cudahy’s Irish Pub, which opened in September 2001 and offers pre-event and intermission cocktails. The Pub, surrounded by glass to look like an outdoor patio, also is available for rentals.
Today, The Pabst Theater is the centerpiece of Milwaukee’s downtown theater district – a magnificent example of architecture from another time and an era that serves performers and audiences of the 21st century just as it did at the turn of the 20th century.
Join us for Doors Open and enjoy a self-guided, behind the scenes tour that includes the auditorium, stage and backstage areas, where some of the world’s most notable names have performed, including Liberace, Louis Armstrong, John Prine, Liza Minnelli, David Byrne, Michael Bublé, Ed Sheeran, Kacey Musgraves and Emmylou Harris.
Proof of vaccine or negative COVID test required to visit
144 E. Wells St.
10 am - 3 pm
Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted
1st floor only