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.

COVID Protocol 

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

View more details about COVID protocol here

About Riverside Theater

The Riverside Theatre opened as an original Orpheum circuit house on April 29, 1928, with seven Vaudeville acts and a film titled “The Big Noise.” The theatre, designed by architects Kirchoff and Rose, is of modified French style and is part of a 12-story downtown office building known as the Empire Building. Located on the west bank of the Milwaukee River, it quickly became the showplace of Milwaukee, with 2,500 seats and excellent acoustics. It continued through the 1940s as a performance venue with big bands and featured entertainers, and through the 1950s as a first-run movie house.

In 1966, The Riverside Theater suffered a fire which destroyed the fancy draperies, swag and elaborate décor around the stage, but the theater was saved by automatic sprinklers, which retarded the fire until help could come. In the following years, the Riverside would experience troubles until it was ultimately saved from demolition and celebrated a grand reopening in 1984.

As of 2020, The Riverside Theater offers musical groups, comedians, events featuring special speakers, with an occasional touring play or musical. It is one of the most opulent of Milwaukee’s theaters, welcoming high caliber artists ranging from Kevin Hart and Neil Young to Norah Jones and Aretha Franklin.

Proof of vaccine or negative COVID test required to visit

116 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Saturday Hours
Not Open

Sunday Hours
10 am - 3 pm

Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted

Handicapped Accessible
1st floor only

Passport Site


Photo Tour