Orpheum Theatre (Memphis)

The Orpheum Theatre, located on South Main Street at Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, was built in 1928 and is one of the few remaining "movie palaces" of the 1920s. The theatre presents a variety of events from Broadway shows and concerts to films. A $4.7 million renovation in the 1980s included refurbishing of ornamental plasterwork, crystal chandeliers and original furnishings plus remodeling of backstage and technical areas. It seats 2,400.HistoryThe Orpheum Theatre has survived several financial bankruptcies, a devastating fire, and the threat of demolition for the construction of an office complex. However, the Orpheum, called the "South's Finest Theatre" rose above all this and now is a premiere performing arts center for the Mid-South.In 1890 The Grand Opera House was built on the corner of Main and Beale Street. The Grand was billed as the classiest theatre outside of New York City. Vaudeville was the main source of entertainment at the time. The Grand became part of the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit in 1907, and was renamed the Orpheum Theatre.Vaudeville at the Orpheum was successful for almost two decades. Then in 1923, after a show that featured the singer Blossom Seeley, a fire started and the theatre burned to the ground.Building a new OrpheumIn 1928, at a cost of $1.6 million, a new Orpheum was built on the original site of The Grand, but it was a different theater. The new Orpheum is twice as large as her predecessor and is beautifully decorated. A few decorations include lavish tasseled brocade draperies, enormous crystal chandeliers, gilded moldings and a large Wurlitzer pipe organ. The Orpheum was purchased by the Malco movie theater chain in 1940 and presented first run movies.

Address

203 S Main St
Buffalo, NY
38103-3905

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