Designed to feel like a “temple of Oriental art,” the Oriental Theatre was designed and constructed in 1927 with elements from Indian, Moorish, Islamic, and Byzantine architectural styles.
8-foot chandeliers, massive porcelain lions, and hundreds of elephants greet moviegoers en route to the main theater, where enormous Buddha-like figures with bright green eyes live inside decorative bays.
When Milwaukee Film took over the theater, they tapped SRH to produce a policy trailer worthy of this cinematic temple—“turn off cell phones”; “don’t forget snacks”; etc.
As filmmakers, we approached it as a chance to produce a love letter to cinema—one to put filmgoers in the right frame of mind before their feature presentations.
So we went back to classic cinema techniques and built a model miniature of the theater and its iconic interiors—right down to specific tile pattern in the lobby.
When it debuted on the opening night of the 2018 Milwaukee Film Festival, the directors of the opening night film—the true stars of the night—hunted down the SRH team. “We absolutely loved your policy trailer!” Talk about a phrase you don’t hear every day!
It has since gone on to win awards including a Silver Addy in the statewide competition. “When you have to shush a room and remind everyone about the rules, the last thing you expect is praise for it.”