Orpheum Theatre

842 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Unfavorite 62 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 75 of 179 comments

kencmcintyre on March 27, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Flags, I think. Maybe some holiday.

Bway on March 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Nice! What are those things they put around the palm trees?

nickb on March 27, 2008 at 6:22 am

Here’s a USC picture of the Orpheum under construction (I don’t think this is already linked to above…). File number is CHS-14097.

stevebob on March 6, 2008 at 8:38 am

I agree to the extent the names are actually different. In the case of Teatro Orpheum vs. Orpheum Theater, the name in question is “Orpheum” — it’s the same! Ditto for all the other downtown examples cited.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 6, 2008 at 7:54 am

Any name that ever appeared on the theatre itself, or in advertising, should be added.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2008 at 9:03 pm

If it means changing all the downtown theaters to Teatro, I reverse my earlier recommendation and vote no.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I think just about everybody knows that teatro is only the Spanish word for theater, so in a way it seems pointless to add it, but then Teatro (capitalized) Whatever did appear in advertising and (in some cases) on the signage, so it is historically accurate. I guess that adds up to me being indifferent.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Are you pro or con, Joe?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 5, 2008 at 8:20 pm

I think almost all the downtown theatres were advertised with “Teatro” in their names if and when they ran Spanish language movies. Here’s photographic evidence of Frank Fouce’s Teatro California, and of El Nuevo Teatro Rialto, and I recall the Million Dollar advertised as El Teatro Million Dollar. I’m pretty sure the Mason, State, Globe, United Artists, and others were advertised as “Teatro…” as well. The same was true for neighborhood theatres throughout the region. Not all of them got signs out front, or cloth banners, but Teatro Whatever was what they were in their ads.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2008 at 8:13 pm

For some of the “classic” theaters, people get huffy if changes are proposed absent concrete evidence. Hence the solicitation for objections.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Any objection to Teatro Orpheum as an aka?

stevebob on March 4, 2008 at 9:28 pm

The Teatro Orpheum photo reminds me of when I used to frequent the place while studying at UCLA, sometimes with whomever I was able to corral for a trip downtown and some ambience that was far removed from Westwood Village. In particular, I recall seeing subtitled versions of Cabaret and Chinatown there.

I don’t think anyone here would be shocked to learn that there were rats in the Orpheum in those days (and probably in other Broadway theaters, too). One evening, while we were watching Cabaret from the center of the balcony, a large rat sauntered down the aisle toward my friends and me. They were such good sports about it! Almost spontaneously, we raised our legs simultaneously to put our feet on the seatbacks in front of us. The rat passed by without incident or further reaction on our part; I guess we were having too good a time to let such a minor intrusion spoil it.

In retrospect, our collective underreaction to the rat surprises me — but maybe it wasn’t such a big deal after all. I had no idea until recently that theaters could be lice-infested or that many an old cinema was locally known as the neighborhood “itch”; if I have to pick my poison when it comes to cinema vermin, I guess I would prefer rodents to lice.

kencmcintyre on March 4, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Here is a photo circa 1980, when the theater was called Teatro Orpheum:

rfwebber on March 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm

There were indeed originally two signs, one facing east and an identical one facing west (visible in early photos). Both had fallen into disrepair over the years. Probably all letters but the “O” on the east-facing sign had fallen down. During the recent renovation of the theatre, the west-facing sign was restored and the remnants of the east-facing one were removed. I guess it was assumed that the east-facing sign would not likely be seen much (a reasonable assumption, I think).

stevebob on February 18, 2008 at 7:47 pm

I have a question about the Orpheum’s rooftop sign.

Was there originally another sign behind it — an identical rectangle spelling out “Orpheum” in cursive script, but facing the other direction?

Back in the 1970s, a single capital letter “O” was visible behind the now-restored west-facing sign. I never understood why only the letters “rpheum” would have been removed from this east-facing sign, but I’ve never seen a vintage photograph that confirmed that there were once two identical back-to-back signs, either.

Can anyone verify that there were two signs at one time, and whether they both spelled out the complete name “Orpheum”? If so, does anyone know when all the letters save the initial one were removed from the east-facing sign, and why?

kencmcintyre on February 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Here is an undated photo from the LA Library:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 10, 2008 at 6:01 am

A historical video (just over 12 minutes in length) featuring the Orpheum Theatre:

Dublinboyo on January 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Was just at the Orpheum last Friday night for the screening of Buster Keaton’s “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” Incredible to be able to see the film – with a fantastic print – at this majestic theater. It was just what I needed after dealing with too many bland multi-plexs lately. The live accompaniment on the Wurlizer organ was just incredible. Though I have been to the Orpheum many times since it was taken over and totally removated, I am always blown away when I go back at the complete love and attention to detail the theater has been restored to. I told my friend if she remembered what the theater was like BEFORE the purchase and renovation by Steve Needleman and, strangely, she could not. But I do! Especially the smell that would greet you during on summer shows with no air conditioning. Anybody have any memories of what the place used to be like?? And while I am at it, I want to give a big shout out and thank you to Mr. Needleman and his group for the fantastic job they have done to the lovely and historic theater – so THANK YOU!!!

jaxsunst on January 8, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I hate admit to seeing this, but this theater’s exterior, lobby, and auditorium is in the movie “Alvin and the Chipmonks”.

kencmcintyre on January 7, 2008 at 7:28 pm

There is a Buster Keaton movie at the Orpheum tonight, sponsored by the Wurlitzer Association, I think.

Bway on November 12, 2007 at 9:20 am

Wow! I didn’t realize that was the Orpheum! That’s the one where the guys have the beer bottles to “get them through” the opera, and the screaching voice breaks them all, except for the guy with the can…
It’s for bud light, and here’s a copy of it I found on youtube:


William on November 8, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Also that beer commercial at the opera. The bottles vs. cans one.

BhillH20 on November 8, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Its so nice to see the Orpheum Theater auditorium side wall used on those AARP commercials.

kencmcintyre on November 5, 2007 at 7:02 am

Here’s an August 1939 ad from the LA Times: