Adler Theatre

136 E. 3rd Street,
Davenport, IA 52801

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Adler Theatre

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Opened as the 2,708-seat Orpheum Theatre on November 25, 1931, it was part of the RKO circuit of theatres. The movie house lasted for 42 years, closing in 1973 amid competition from suburban multiplexes.

Following its closure, the Orpheum Theatre became a venue for stage shows and concerts and was eventually donated to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

The theatre was restored between 1984 and 1986 with much of its Art Deco interior returning. Today, the renamed Adler Theatre continues to delight Davenport residents.

Contributed by Mike Geater, Monte

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kurt1 on January 9, 2005 at 4:18 am

I was an Usher at the former RKO Orpheum Theatre from 1966-68,under the tutelage of the late Milt Troehler,long time manager of the Theatre.I loved the theatre and my experiences there!

Kurt J. Noack

JimRankin on June 10, 2005 at 5:28 pm

Recent color photos of this theatre can be found on the site: “America’s Stunning Theatres” by photographer and stagehand Noah Kern at: Comments and information may be left there without registration; such can be public view or only to Mr. Kern. Scroll down the page to find the name, and then click on the sample image above it to be taken to the page of photos of it.

jstep on November 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm

The Adler was just reopened after over a year of extensive renovation to the stage so it can attract more broadway plays. Plus, it will be celebrating it’s 75th anniversary.

Read more here.

View link

jstep on January 18, 2008 at 8:54 pm

That marquee if awful.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2008 at 4:53 am

In 1923, businesses on the opposite side of the 100 block of E. 3rd Street from the future site of the Adler included a small theatre called the Mirror, seen at far left in this photograph.

hondo59 on July 17, 2008 at 6:50 am

Cary Grant fell ill here on November 29, 1986 while preparing for his one-man show entitled “Conversations with Cary Grant.” He died later that night at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Boxoffice magazine of September 15, 1956 has two small photos of the revamping of the marquee:
View link

TomBarrister on September 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

136 would be about right. The (then) Mississippi Hotel’s address was 106. The hotel stands right at 3rd and Brady (a one-way, and the main road north from downtown). Down the street to the east wass the Blackhawk Hotel; about a block west was the Davenport. Those were the three main hotels of their day. They’re all still open, although I believe as apartments.

The Orpheum was a huge theater; it and the Fort in Rock Island got all of the best movies in their day. The prefab multi-screen theaters came into existence in the late 60s, and they put almost all of the downtown theaters on both sides of the river out of business within a few years. Fortunately, this and the Fort (the biggest on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities) are both still open, albeit not as movie houses anymore.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

The original interior of the RKO Orpheum Theatre was designed by the noted industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss. A photo of one of the lighting fixtures he designed for the theater can be seen on page 60 of Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design In America 1925-1939, by Jeffrey Meikle (Google Books preview.)

DavidZornig on June 28, 2015 at 5:33 am

1976 Joe Cocker poster added, designed by and courtesy of long time Chicago graphic artist Shelley Howard.

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