Any time you come to a show at the Miller High Life Theatre, we invite you to enjoy a quality beverage at Miss Lizzie’s in our outer lobby!
Elizabeth Plankinton (1853 – 1923) was an American philanthropist in the early 20th century, the daughter of Milwaukee businessman John Plankinton. She supported local artists and artisans. She purchased a $10,000 pipe organ for the then-new, half-million-dollar 1909 Milwaukee Auditorium. The people of Milwaukee called Miss Plankinton the “municipal patroness” because of her generosity, and she was also known as “Miss Lizzie.”
In 1909, Hampton’s Magazine described Miss Lizzie as:
“… not merely a woman of fashion. She is a traveler, especially in unbeaten paths. She is a business woman of ability, thoroughly versed in legal usages. Above all, Miss Plankinton is a generous and public-spirited citizen of her native city.”
The high ceilings, terrazzo flooring and grand bar create an ideal setting for a special celebration. An adjoining space showcases an extensive gallery of in-house event posters, including those from Broadway shows, rock bands, comedians and everything in between.
Just contact Special Events Sales Manager Katie Ragan, or complete the form at the bottom of this page and attach your event RFP.
Miss Lizzie would like to introduce you to our history
Check out the image galleries below to get a peek at Miss Lizzie’s and into the past century and more of Milwaukee history that happened in our building!
Photos of Miss Lizzie’s
Thorsten Lindberg Murals in the Miller High Life Theatre
Byron Kilbourn, by Thorsten Lindberg.
Christopher Latham Sholes, by Thorsten Lindberg. The Invention of the Typewriter.
Solomon Juneau, by Thorsten Lindberg, at his trading post on the Milwaukee River.
Solomon Juneau, by Thorsten Lindberg, at his wedding to Josette Vieux, daughter of French-Indian trapper/trader Jacques Vieax
Milwaukeee Industry, by Thorsten Lindberg
Wisconsin Agriculture, by Thorsten Lindberg
Historical image of the Milwaukee Auditorium
The Milwaukee Industrial Exposition Building preceded the Milwaukee Auditorium on the site, which had been donated by Milwaukee founder Byron Kilbourn in 1835 for use as a public market. Construction on the Exposition Building began in 1880; it opened in 1881, and was completed in 1885. In 1905, it burned down after fire broke out during a "scat" tournament.
The Milwaukee Auditorium at the time of its opening in 1909. The original main entrance was on 5th Street, on the right; Kilbourn Avenue was then called Cedar Street.
A group photo on the front (5th Street) steps of the Milwaukee Auditorium, taken at the official dedication ceremony on September 21, 1909.
A cashier serves customers at the box office window in the brand-new Milwaukee Auditorium in 1909.
The first national convention held in the new Milwaukee Auditorium was the National Dairy Show, October 15-24, 1909; it drew over 15,000 dairymen to the facility.
Bruce Hall is turned into a lush garden for the 1910 Flower and Garden Show.
The 1912 Memorial Day Parade prepares to step off in front of the Milwaukee Auditorium.
The Milwaukee Auditorium originally had its own "house band," the Auditorium Symphony Orchestra.
On January 31, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson spoke in the Milwaukee Auditorium about being prepared for the likelihood of war against Germany, though the U.S. remained officially neutral in World War I. In a testament to Milwaukee's Germanic heritage, a multi-day bazaar was held in the Auditorium later in 1916 to raise funds for “War Relief” – for Germans.
The Automobile Dealers Association of Milwaukee began presenting the annual Auto Show in the Milwaukee Auditorium in 1911; this is from the 1920 show.
A banked wooden bicycle track was built in the Milwaukee Auditorium’s Bruce Hall, temporarily turning it into a velodrome to host a 6-day indoor bicycle race. Beginning in 1932, races were held here annually throughout the 1930s.
"Holiday On Ice" performs in the Milwaukee Auditorium in 1949.