|All rights reserved.
|OTHER GREAT OLD THEATERS
|MORE ARIZONA LINKS!
|The Orpheum Theatre is a 1364-seat theatre in downtown Phoenix.
This venue was originally used for vaudeville acts as part of the nationwide Orpheum Circuit.
Construction began in 1927 and was completed in 1929 for a total cost of $750,000. Built in a Spanish Revival style of
Spanish Baroque architecture style, intricate murals and moldings were an integral part of the design, all meant to give
patrons the impression that they were enjoying the shows "al fresco."
In the 1940s the Orpheum was purchased by the Paramount Pictures chain, and renamed, "The Paramount." In the 60's
Nederlander purchased it to add it as a stop on the Broadway circuit. Throughout the 60's until its restoration, it was
renamed, "Palace West."
Throughout the late 70's and early 80's, the Theatre was leased to a local Mexican family, the Coronas, who presented
Hispanic events and movies. At one point all the murals and moldings were painted black when the Orpheum was used to
show Spanish films. It was thought that such decorations would detract from the films.
After falling into disrepair for some years, the Orpheum Theatre was purchased in 1984 by the city of Phoenix, which then
began a 12-year, $14 million restoration. The Conrad Schmitt Studios created the transformation and the Orpheum reopened
on January 28, 1997, with a performance of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing. After the performance, Ms. Channing, still
in costume but out of character, thanked the audience for "not turning this beautiful theatre into a parking lot!"
|203 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Opened on January 5, 1929