Orpheum Theater

103 Broadway,
Kingston, NY 12401

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The Orpheum Theater dates back to at least 1927 when it was built on the site of a previous Orpheum Theater. It opened November 27, 1927. It was demolished in the late-1960’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

shoeshoe14 on August 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Saw this theater on my bike trip 2 weeks ago. This theatre is really far away from the Kingston Theatre as it’s the 3rd downtown settlement in Kingston. It’s on the right side of the street as it slopes downhill toward the water and Rondout which looks like NOLA.

The Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) has its offices in the building, which is listed as 97 Broadway. The cornerstone says 1925. When you go to the side for pictures, the small hallway goes to the back and intrigues you as the small stagehouse is now a Second Empire house with a Mansard roof. It’s quite cool. The left side has pilasters and some stairways.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2010 at 9:42 am

The New York Clipper, a sports and entertainment magazine, listed an Orpheum Theatre in Kingston, New York, at least as early as 1914. I’m wondering if this was a different Orpheum, or if the 1925 cornerstone shoeshoe14 mentioned actually belongs to the “…1 Sty extension on B'way….” that Warren mentioned in the previous comment? Perhaps the theater itself is older, and the building was only altered and expanded in 1925.

ThomJP on April 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

The Kingston Daily Freeman in an article dated April 14, 1969 about the recently demolished (March, 1969) Orpheum Theatre says it existed as early as 1914. There is also a photograph from 1927 (not very clear) that shows enough to know that this is not the same building occupied by the Arts Society of Kingston and sometimes referred to as the Orpheum as it is much larger. In addition there is a March 1969 article in the same newspaper showing the Mayor in a hard hat standing in the demolished ruins of the original Orpheum

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm

The “New Theaters” column of the July 1, 1927, issue of Film Daily mentions the Orpheum: “Kingston, N. Y. — Work has started on the site for the Orpheum on lower Broadway.” It doesn’t clear up the mystery of the Two Orpheums. Possibly the 1927 project was a partial or complete rebuilding of the original Orpheum on the same, or an adjacent, site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2015 at 6:41 am

The Orpheum Theatre that opened in 1927 was on the same site as the old Orpheum. Testimony from a court case involving the house included this line: “…some time in June, 1927, the old house was torn down and practically a new house was built up on the same place.”

A half page ad in the November 26, 1927, issue of The Kingston Daily Freeman said that the rebuilt Orpheum would open the following night. An article in the August 2 issue of the same publication said that the architect for the project was Gerard W. Betz.

The Orpheum was about a third of a century old when rebuilt in 1927. An October 31, 1908, item in The Billboard said that the old Fordon Opera House had been bought by the Bijou Theatre Company and would be remodeled and reopened as a vaudeville and movie theater called the Orpheum. It opened on December 3. The theater had originally opened in 1894 as Liscomb’s Opera House. Today the Rondout Neighborhood Center, opened in 1971, occupies the site of the Orpheum.

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