Orpheum Theatre

1192 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Showing 26 - 42 of 42 comments

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 9:15 pm

From the SF Public Library website:

View link

bugaboo1024 on August 5, 2005 at 10:33 am

I was hoping someone can give me more info on the children rule. It says children under 5 are not allowed. My son just turned 5 and we got tickets to go see ‘Wicked’. He’s gone to other shows since before he turned 4. He’s really good and is really excited to see the show since he just loves the music. My concern is getting there and being turned away. I called and the person I spoke to said we shouldnt have a problem. That the rule is more for infants and babies. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

stevebob on March 2, 2005 at 10:34 am

The following page has pictures of the proscenium and the marquee from the Cinerama era:


growling on December 24, 2004 at 12:37 am

There are several archival photos of the theatre at the San Francisco main public library. One shows the original marquee and blade sign. Another shows the interior of the theater in the Cinerama days.
During the mid 1990’s remodeling, some lost parts of the theater were brought to light, including the ornate painted decorations on the ceiling of the foyer, which had been hidden under layers of white and pink paint. A new stage curtain was created based on archival photographs of the original. The curtain depicts a pilgrimage of sorts, and the persons shown are cariactures of the owners and others who were involved in the detailed work of restoring the theatre. It was proposed at the time to rename the theatre “The Shorenstein” but thankfully a new Orpheum blade sign was created to echo the original.
In my opinion the crown jewel of this theatre is the perforated plaster ceiling which is dotted with lights and has a huge sunburst light in the center. Definitely gaudy, somewhat Moorish, and a triumph of the handcrafted plaster art form.

bruceanthony on December 14, 2004 at 7:09 pm

The Orpheum was one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere roadshow reserved seat houses. I remember the theatre advertising Exclusive Northern California engagement for films like “Dr Zhivago”. It was the only Cinerama theatre in the Bay Area until the Golden Gate became a Cinerama theatre.It was one of the first downtown movie palaces to close in the early 1970’s. The film “Hello Dolly” was booked into the Orpheum, but due to construction of the BART subway the booking was canceled and moved to the Cinema 21 and the Orpheum never recovered, until it was restored as a Broadway Theatre.brucec

jcronen on December 2, 2004 at 12:39 pm

I think I have 10 seats from this theater; any one know how I might identify them to be sure? Are there extensive historical photos of this theater anywhere?

veyoung52 on November 28, 2004 at 10:42 am

Yes, Charles, I’d like a copy of that. Thanks, Vince

veyoung52 on November 27, 2004 at 3:34 pm

This was also possibly the first Cinerama theatre in the U.S. to catch on fire. Sometime shortly before Thanksgiving week in 1958 during the 37th week of the 4th Cinerama travelogue “Search For Paradise,” a fire broke out backstage (late at night, nobody injured) which destroyed the screen, screen speakers, and curtains. Amazingly enough, the house was back in action within a week’s time.

Ralph on May 6, 2004 at 2:43 pm

My parents have an old player piano that was supposedly used in the Orpheum Theater. It is a Fotopiano made by the American Photo Player Company, NY NY & Berkley CA. Any information relating to this would be appreciated.

ofcbob on March 27, 2004 at 7:33 am

As with a vast percentage of other theaters originally built for the Pantages chain this was the work of architect B. Marcus Priteca. I believe I have a book with some additional info on this theater. If I find the info I will share it.

William on December 4, 2003 at 4:51 pm

When the Orpheum Theatre was a single screen theatre it seated 2446 people.

frenchjr25 on October 7, 2003 at 8:54 pm

With in the past 7 years the Orpheum was closed and the interior restored. The pink color that the auditorium was painted is no more. The stage was brought out into the audience more so that the backstage could be rebuilt and enlarged for traveling broadway shows. It has an amazing spanich themed interior.

RogerC on November 28, 2001 at 12:35 pm

According to a Variety listing, late in 2000 the house record for the Orpheum was broken by the pre-Broadway tour of the London musical “Mamma-Mia”. The show grossed over a million dollars a week.

William on August 22, 2001 at 1:27 pm

In 1953 Cinerama subleased the theatre from the master lease holder Metropolitan. Cinerama’s ran about 15 years before return it to Metropolitan. The theatre opened on 02/20/1926 with 2446 seats.

frenchjr25 on August 21, 2001 at 10:19 pm

In the late 1990s the orphuem went through a major remodeling in which the stage was extended into the seating area, a new marquee was put on the front of the building, and the back stage area was greatly expanded. One of the reasons this was done was so that the Broadway Show Miss Sygon could be played here. This is a very beautiful Spanish style theatre. One of the best in the world, truly.

TheresaRodgersRuiz on May 1, 2001 at 5:23 pm

I will be attending the show for this Saturday May 5 and need directions on how to arrive to your theatre. I’m coming from San Jose CA. Please send me a phone number or directions online.