Orpheum Theatre

216 State Street,
Madison, WI 53703

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ORPHEUM Theatre, Madison, Wisconsin

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on March 31, 1927, the Orpheum Theatre accomplished a feat that eluded nearly every other Orpheum Theatre across the country — until 2012 it was still a glorious first run movie theatre. There is also an additional smaller theatre that was used for live concerts and art house films.

The Orpheum Theatre now hosts concerts and wedding receptions

Contributed by Cinema Treasures, Scott Thom

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

Very nice photos.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Stage Door grand opening ad is at View link

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

According to what I have been reading, the Stage Door Theatre is in the process of being removed so they can restore the Orpheum stage to its full original size. This is being done to accommodate bigger shows on the stage. They will still be showing movies but the focus is being shifted to live performances and bigger shows.

RickB
RickB on October 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Underage drinker blacks out, breaks fountain in theater: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/entertainment/132088448.html

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Its my understanding this theater no longer shows movies anymore, its a live concert venue and used for weddings. They removed the seats all the way to 30' from the stage.

Bordwell
Bordwell on June 27, 2012 at 8:57 am

A rundown on the amazing saga of the Orpheum in recent years—scams, dodges, arson, and girlfriends. http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/crime_and_courts/blog/theater-of-the-absurd-how-bad-deals-shenanigans-have-brought/article_cdb20940-bfcf-11e1-a60f-001a4bcf887a.html

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on August 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

So sad, the future of this theater is in jeopardy due to feuding business partners. It would be nice to get new owners (actually, just replace the one owner who seems to have a history of shady dealings in Madison) and get that place back in business. So much work has been done and a lot to go and its still a VERY viable entertainment destination for downtown Madison!

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

The theater, which had been closed recently, will be reopening son under the management of Frank Productions which hopes to purchase the theater when a bankruptcy sale is held: View article

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on October 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Yes, so happy to see this theatre will be re-opening! I was rather worried about its future.

LouRugani
LouRugani on July 18, 2014 at 7:42 am

(From host.madison.com )

The vintage Orpheum Theater, with its once-regal presence on State Street, is getting a facelift from the inside out. New co-owner Gus Paras is sprucing up the long-neglected auditorium. Interior artwork and stenciling are being restored with painstaking care. New front doors, resembling those that first swung open in 1927, are coming soon.

So are veiny black granite panels, meant to replace the blond brick that was put on the theater’s facade when it was “remuddled” in the 1960s.

“Remuddled” is the term of architect Arlan Kay, who has restored many a historic building and is overseeing changes to the Orpheum. Those changes are meant to undo alterations made to the movie palace half a century ago in the name of modernization.

The sign we see outside the Orpheum today is from that mid-century period. But oh, you should have seen what she looked like in her glory days.

Lights raced up and down the original sign, crowned with an Art Deco flair. The theater, designed by Chicago architects Rapp and Rapp, had cost a whopping $750,000 to build.

Now scarred with rust, the current sign stays in place because hanging a replacement over the sidewalk would violate city ordinances. City leaders are working on a solution.

It will take time — and many dollars — but one day the sparkling name Orpheum, like the theater itself, could again be a glamorous Downtown star.

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