Orpheum Theatre

203 West Adams Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85003

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29 Feb 2008

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1929 with a seating capacity of 1,520, the Orpheum Theatre began its life as a premier movie house and was sold in 1949 and renamed the Paramount. In 1968, movies could no longer support the theater and it was sold again. Renamed the Palace West, the theater was renovated for stage shows.

In 1977, the theater returned to movies – showcasing spanish language films. The city purchased the Orpheum Theatre in 1984 and in 1985 the theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite its new honor, the theater closed, seemingly forever, in 1986.

However, after 11 years of raising funds and renovating, the theater reopened in 1997 as a performing arts and community events center for the city of Phoenix.

Recent comments (view all 42 comments)

HowardBHaas on March 4, 2009 at 11:06 am

That’s Haas, not Bass. www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org for the Boyd. Here, the Orpheum:

View link
if link doesn’t work, google search exactly Boxoffice April 3, 1948
insert 102 in page box

World Premiere in Phoenix of Fort Apache at two theaters: downtown Orpheum and neighborhood Palms.

LuisV on March 4, 2009 at 11:50 am

Howard…..please accept my apology! I meant no offense. I will make sure I get it right going forward.

HowardBHaas on March 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I know. It was just a way to start my comment about what was described as the 1st world premiere in a long time in Phoenix.

DonnieMac on April 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Laurie M- Please contact me, I am trying to do some research on my great grandfather-Duncan MacDonald, and would love to get any info. you have. Thanks.

DonnieMac on April 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

There are great photos of Orpheum- here as well: I wish I knew what areas Duncan was responsible for, it is some fantastic work throughout!


ykube on May 15, 2009 at 1:37 am

I have a handful of “Popeye Gobs” that were apparently given to children to redeem at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. Does anyone have any info to share about these? Thanks!

brianm9943 on May 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

The Orpheum is a “Must-See” for anyone visiting Phoenix… it’s a gorgeous masterpiece of architecture. Go on one of the free tours, catch a show, and experience an old silent movie accompanied by the theatre organ.
Two other things I don’t think anyone has mentioned so far: I understand there was a search light at the top of the tower which used to revolve when there was a show going on. Also, from the downstairs lounge area, there was a glass ceiling on the one side which allowed you to look up to the street level above and see the people walking by.

IA on May 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I am reminded, as Cleopatra is being released today on Blu Ray, that I saw it here in 70mm. Arrived late after drive up from Tucson and was happy to have gotten balcony seats. Too bad Phoenix could not have saved The Fox and The Cine Capri also.

Tillthen on November 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I saw Bwana Devil here in 1952 in 3S. Great theatre. Terrible movie.

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