I don’t know about you, but when we watch Anchorman in this house, our dog totally speaks up when Ron Burgundy says “Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee!” … … … Okay fine, so maybe he doesn’t. But regardless, we do love watching shows and movies with references to the great Cream City. Luckily for all of us, MKE scores a lot of film credits—and leaves an entire trip’s worth of landmarks in its wake. So, all you cinephiles, come along with me on a trip through Milwaukee’s video history.
Although this series stopped filming in 1984, Fonzie truly never left Milwaukee. He’s become part of the local landscape along the riverwalk just south of Wells Street. Grab a camera and go visit the Bronze Fonz, the nearly life-size bronze statue of Arthur Fonzarelli, in his typical leather jacket and jeans. (Note the “nearly life-size”—it’s actually taller than Henry Winkler!) And who could forget Laverne and Shirley, the Happy Days spinoff spotlighting two Milwaukee women who worked at the fake Schotz Brewery (a clever mutation of Blatz and Schlitz, perhaps?) and lived in a basement apartment on Knapp Street.
Remember how Annie worked at that jewelry store? Take a walk past 1009 Mitchell Street, and you’ll see it for yourself! The shop itself may have been filmed on a stage, but the inspiration for Cholodecki’s from this storefront sure does exist. You can also stroll by her apartment at 2501 South Kinnickinnic Avenue.
Transformers 3 and Blues Brothers
Technically these two were not actually set in Milwaukee, but our landmarks sure did show up. You know that scene on the bridge near the end of Blues Brothers? You may think it’s in Chicago, but you’re wrong! It’s the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge (or locally known as “The Bridge to Nowhere”), spanning the width of the Milwaukee River as it opens into the lake. And our beloved Milwaukee Art Museum? Yeah, it’s Patrick Dempsey’s corporate headquarters in Transformers 3. Take that, movie-city snobs.
If you like horror flicks, take a field trip outside the city bounds to Silver Lake. The Amityville Horror may have happened in New York, but the house from the 2005 remake is in plain view in good old Wisconsin. This is in no way a comprehensive list, so to set you on your search for more, I’ll leave you with this bit of Milwaukee love from that cinematic triumph, Wayne’s World:
Wayne: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
Alice Cooper: Well, I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers began visiting here in the late 16th century.
Pete: Hey, isn’t “Milwaukee” an Indian name?
Alice Cooper: Yes, Pete, it is. In fact, it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que,” which is Algonquin for “the good land.”
Wayne: I was not aware of that!
Experience the cinematic history for yourself with cheap flights to Milwaukee!