Orpheum Theater

1214 Baltimore Avenue,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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Showing 23 comments

rivest266 on April 29, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Movies only as of September 2nd, 1938. Another ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on April 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm

December 26th, 1914 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on April 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

I think there may have been a different theater in Boston than what you are talking about. It was designed by the same company the built the Orpheum Theaters in New Orleans, Kansas City and St.Louis. Maybe it was not known as the Orpheum in Boston, but was on the same circuit in the early days. Today’s Orpheum Theater in Boston is not the same theater that was part of the group of theaters built at the same time with a similar design. I will try to find out more about it. However, with that said, I am so grateful that the Boston Paramount has been saved and is beautiful again and also the theater up the street which I think is called The Lyric.

dickneeds111 on April 30, 2015 at 10:49 am

To KCB3Player. Just to update you. The Boston Orpheum theatre is not gone. It is one of the oldest theatres in the country havimg opened in 1852 as the Boston Music Hall. It wasn’t named the Orpheum until 1906. In 1915 it was taken over by Loews(1915-1971) when it became the Aquarius until 1974. It became the Orpheum again in 1975. It was never an ornate theatre but it had it’s own character. It was never one of the 7 Orpheums. It has been a live music theatre since 1971 with a few movies thrown in. The balcony was removed years ago. Some of the biggest names in music from Rock, Country, Rap and classical have played here. It is still a grand old lady. Look it up on Wikipedia for more info.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on June 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

Even though I was a small boy, I remember that the recessed lighting was a Rose color off of the antique white and gold leaf – it was beautiful. The stage curtain was a beautiful crimson color and so were the redone seats. The orghestra seats were beutiful and taken over to the Tower Theater to prep it for the long run of Oklahoma. The screen was taking and installed at The Uptown Theater when it became obvious that it was going to be demolished. The facade was supposed to be saved for the new edition of the Hotel. Looking at what there is now – it is a crime that it was not saved.

bobster1985 on June 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

I’m afraid not, Mike. It sure was a beautiful theater, wasn’t it? How sad they let it be demolished, just like the Fox Theater here in San Francisco.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on June 11, 2013 at 5:17 am

Yes – they are wonderful – do you have any interior pics of other theaters in KC?

bobster1985 on June 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Mike, I did post them yesterday. Aren’t you able to see them?

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on June 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Kansas City and St.Louis, MO had some of the most beautiful theaters in the country and most are gone. The worst horror story is the loss of the SF Fox and the NY Roxy.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on June 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

There were many theaters named Orpheum, however, there were seven that were disigned and built in a very similar style. These were the live performance Orpheum’s bult prior to 1920. The Kansas City Orpheum was considered to be the most beautiful of the seven and took on a look similar to the Paris Opera House both inside and outside. The St. Louis Orpheum looks very Ksimilar inside to the KC Theater and it indeed still in operation but the main floor has been tiered. The paint color sceme is very similar to what was done to the KC Orpheum in 1951 to spruce it up for the showing of The Robe – the very first Cinimascope Picture. The theater was beautiful and in prestine condition. It was a pride of Kansas City along with The Loew’s Midland Theater a block away. Many Kansas Citians were horrifid to learn that the Tower and the Orpheum would be raised in the same year. We also saw the loss of the Esquire which had been recently renovated by a local owner. I think we are all still waiting for pics to be posted by bobster1985 – hope he does have some pics. At one time, I had an interior pic with the curtain open showing the cinimascope screen but have been unable to find it. The New Orleans Orpheum and the St. Louis Orpheum have very similar exteriors. The interiors are again similar but not quite as opulent as the KC Orpheum was. The Boston Orpheum is now gone and so is the Madison, WS. The Omaha Orpheum was built in a similar style and was larger – more similar to the Loew’s Midland – still very beautiful and in use for Live Stage Shows.

bobster1985 on June 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Mike, I have some photos of the Orpheum that I’m about to post to this site.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on January 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Still hoping to find some quality interior auditorium pics of the Tower and Orpheum. However, I am not interested in interior pics of all the old downtown KC movie palaces.
Any assistance will be most appreciated.
Mike Gallagher
816 347-0487

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on October 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Does anyone of good interior pics of the Orpheum and Tower Theaters of Kansas City, And, any demolition pics that I know the KC Star ran in addition to pics and stories in Box Office Magazine? I would like to do an artical in the Pitch about the beautiful theaters that we lost espeically to surface Parking Lots. Any assitance will be most appreciated. If the pics are not public domain, I will do my best to get permission to use them.
Mike Gallagher
816 347-0487

seymourcox on September 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

This site has photographs of many artists who performed on KC stages –

View link

kencmcintyre on February 13, 2009 at 6:45 pm

This is from the Moberly Monitor-Index on 8/28/61:

KANSAS CITY (AP)-Operators of the Muehlebach Hotel plan to add a 200-room motel to the hotel in downtown Kansas City. Barney L. Allis, operator of the Muehlebach, said Saturday the Orpheum Theater will be razed to make room for the 12-story addition. The project will be completed in mid-1963.

TheaterBuff1 on January 26, 2008 at 10:42 pm

You’re right, RobbKCity. Since my last post, I did some online research, and the Orpheum Theater that was fully restored by that successful minority businessman profiled on The Nightly Business Report Friday night is to the other side of the state in St. Louis. I obviously misheard when I thought they said Kansas City.

Interesting to note, St. Louis' The Roberts Orpheum Theater, as it’s now called (though its marquee still bears the name “The American”) was designed by the same architect — G. Albert Lansburgh — was built right around that same era, and in comparing photos it looks almost identical to K.C.’s late Orpheum. It also should be noted that in previous years it, too, held the name “Orpheum.” And going by the webpage that Cinema Treasures has on that theater — /theaters/436/ — it appears to be doing fantastically well! It’s a shame that K.C.’s Orpheum could not have experienced the same fate, but at least one of the two has survived and is now doing well.

RobbKCity on January 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Not the same theater. An annex for the Muehlebach hotel was built on the former site of the Orpheum Theatre.

TheaterBuff1 on January 26, 2008 at 12:55 am

On PBS' Nightly Business Report for Friday, January 25, 2008 they ran a special feature story on a successful Midwestern minority businessman, and among his proud achievements, a freshly restored movie palace in Kansas City, MO called “The Orpheum.” They even showed a brief glimpse of it. Is that this theater? Or a new one that was recently built?

RobbKCity on January 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm

A photo of the Orpheum Theatre from the late 1940s.

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 24, 2006 at 2:16 am

The ‘old’ Orpheum Theatre located on the corner of 9th Street and May Street was opened on 23rd September 1893 as the Ninth Street Opera House. It had a seating capacity of 2,000 and was designed by architect Oscar Cobb. The building replaced an earlier Ninth Street Theatre which had burnt down.

The Ninth Street Opera House was taken over by the Orpheum circuit in February 1898 and remained in their control until they built this New Orpheum Theatre on Baltimore Avenue in 1914.

William on April 20, 2005 at 9:03 am

The New Orpheum Theatre seated 2220 people.

blondsnapper on May 31, 2002 at 9:03 pm

I am trying to get an approximate date for a “program” for The Orpheum Circuit Of Theatres. The particular publication is for the Orpheum in Kansas City at 9th and May.The last page lists the next weeks offerings which include, Mr. Julius Steger And His Company In A New Musical Dramatic Playlet, “The Way To The Heart” by Ruth Comfort Mitchell, George Carson & Willard Jake –“The Dutch In Egypt”, WalterSchrode & Mulvey Lizzie In Their Comedy Skit “A Theatrical Agency”, and many more. Any help to put a time frame on this would be helpful. I am estimating around 1909 because of some other publications that I got from the same source, but I would like to be certain. Thank you.If anyone has any information on this please email me at: