1214 Baltimore Avenue,
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Architects: G. Albert Lansburgh
Styles: French Renaissance
Previous Names: New Orpheum Theatre, RKO Orpheum Theatre
This newer Orpheum Theatre opened on December 26, 1914 and the old Orpheum Theatre was then left vacant and was later razed in 1922.
The new Orpheum Theatre was designed for a sumptuous experiences inside and out. Built to resemble the Paris Opera House, the exterior was faced with terra cotta designed to resemble Tennessee marble. Embedded along the top of the building’s façade were carved panels symbolically depicting art and music.
The lobby floor was enhanced with a random marble mosaic in figured patterns and panels. A spacious ladies lounge provided divans, lounging chairs, writing desks, telephones, and dressing tables as well as offering maid service. Inside the auditorium was a domed roof painted blue and highlighted with artificial stars. The main stage curtain was made of wire woven asbestos painted to resemble velvet drapery and weighed in excess of 1,200 pounds.
As motion pictures gained in popularity and vaudeville declined, the Orpheum Theatre owners tried to draw audiences with legitimate theatre in the 1930’s, motion pictures only from September 2, 1938 and in 1948 it was taken over by Fox Midwest Theatres. It was closed on November 2, 1955 with Clark Gable in “The Tall Men”. In November 1961 and into early-1962 the Orpheum Theatre was demolished to make room for an addition to the Muehlebach Hotel.
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