Orpheum Theater

409 S. 16th Street,
Omaha, NE 68102

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 11, 2016 at 5:45 pm

The Nebraska State Historical Society’s page about Omaha architectural firm John Latenser & Sons includes in its references section a listing of the Orpheum Theatre as a 1954 project. Given the timing, this was likely a renovation that included adapting the house for CinemaScope movies.

DavidZornig on October 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm

1930 photo added, photo credit Nathaniel L. Dewell, courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

gill on March 2, 2013 at 11:14 am

There is an excellent 1928 photo of the Orpheum on the Historic-Memphis.com website’s Theatre Page. Here’s a link to the page.

TorstenAdair on January 30, 2012 at 9:42 am

According to graffiti in the projection booth, “The Barefoot Executive” was the last movie screened at the Orpheum, before it was acquired by the City of Omaha.

(My brother used to record Orpheum performances for KIOS-FM. My mother and I would “assist” him by carrying in the recording equipment, then moving down to empty seats during intermission.)

“On Golden Pond” had it’s “national premiere” here (it was already in limited release to qualify for the Academy Awards), due to Henry Fonda’s hometown roots. The premiere was a fundraiser for the Omaha Community Playhouse, where Fonda was once a fledgling actor.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20111120/GO/711209951 (a listing of premieres in Omaha)

rivest266 on December 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

I posted the grand opening ad from October 9th, 1927 here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 3, 2011 at 3:10 am

Quite a few comments point out that the Orpheum Theatre opened in 1927 was an entirely different building than the much smaller (800 seats) Creighton Theatre, opened in August, 1895, and taken over by the Orpheum circuit in 1898. The original Creighton/Orpheum Theatre was demolished in 1926 to make way for the new Orpheum. If it can be established that the original Orpheum ran movies, it should have its own page.

Also, the Wikipedia article linked in an earlier comment also has an error. It lists Holabird & Roche as architects of the Orpheum, along with Harry Lawrie. In fact, this was the team responsible for the City National Bank Building, in which the Orpheum’s entrance was once located. Interestingly enough, Harry Lawrie was apparently one of the architects (Fisher & Lawrie) of the original Crieghton Theatre, though so far I’ve only found one source making this claim.

cmartens54 on April 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

You are really confusing people by mixing photos and addresses for two completely different theaters! The Creighton Orpheum Theatre, which you have pictured, was the original theater with an address on South 15th street. It was built as a vaudeville house. The new Orpheum Theatre, a completely different building, was opened on the same block in the 1920s with the entrance on Harney Street. During a later remodel, part of the lobby of the City National Bank Building, which stands next to the theater, was purchased and donated to the city for use as the main entrance on South 16th Street. The rest of the bank lobby has since been purchased and included as part of the theater lobby.

drivein2001 on February 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Here’s a photo I took back in Nov of 2007.. View link ..
RAC Photography

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm

From the early 1900s a postcard view of 16th Street along with the Orpheum Theater in Omaha.

kencmcintyre on March 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Here is a March 2009 item from an Omaha TV station:

Mollykat on August 24, 2007 at 9:17 am

Where did you get it ElViejo?

The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1927, eighteen months after the Creighton Theatre was torn down. The website is www.omahaperformingarts.org

Patsy on January 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm

When comparing names and locations I just now realized that Omaha has a theatre designed by Eberson and a theatre designed by Rapp & Rapp…how lucky is that for one city!?!

beardbear31 on August 12, 2006 at 2:53 pm

You can find The Rose theater on this site at /theaters/906/

rlvjr on August 5, 2006 at 5:02 am

The Omaha Orpheum is in excellent restored condition and is offering quite a few Broadway and other shows throughout the year. I saw Joseph & his Dreamcoat a few nights ago. Lots of civic pride evident. Omaha has another beautiful theatre saved from the wrecking ball. 6 blocks west is The Rose Theatre, built circa 1925, even more ornate than the Orpheum, it serves as a children’s theatre and offers just a few shows. I could not find it on this website.

Patsy on May 7, 2006 at 3:18 am

Nice to read about the Mighty Wurlitzer organ and that it is perfect condition! That is ‘music to my ears’! Hope Lost Memory can provide some photos!

Patsy on May 7, 2006 at 3:16 am

I have friends whose daughter may be moving to Omaha this summer. I think my friends are getting the theatre ‘bug’ so would like to tell them about this theatre and perhaps any others that are still open and/or restored. I see on the CT list that many have been demolished though.

rusecat on December 26, 2005 at 9:29 am

I had the pleasure of playing the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ for the last time in April of 1971. Closed out the last show and pushed the button and the console rose up out of the basement to many surprised eyes. I don’t think they give enough show time to this wonderful organ although I understand it is in perfect condiiton.

WAJWAJ on December 2, 2005 at 7:02 pm

The link offered by TC on 23 Feb 2005 reveals the Orpheum opened in 1895. I have several books about WC Fields showing his performances at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha dating back to 1901.

JimRankin on June 10, 2005 at 9:36 am

Recent color photos of this theatre can be found on the site: “America’s Stunning Theatres” by photographer and stagehand Noah Kern at: http://www.pbase.com/affablebeef/theatres Comments and information may be left there without registration; such can be public view or only to Mr. Kern. Scroll down the page to find the name, and then click on the sample image above it to be taken to the page of photos of it.

teecee on February 23, 2005 at 7:13 am

Beautiful photos at this link:
View link

Click on photos to expand them.

geode2000 on October 21, 2004 at 4:54 pm

Your picture is of the old Orpheum Theatre which, sadly, was demolished in 1926. But happily, the New Orpheum Theatre opened in 1927 and is still in use. It is gorgeous!
The front door (from 16th Street) now goes through the old City National Bank Building to the Box Office & Lobby. The bank building has been made into charming apartments. (I live there.)
The fly in the ointment is the new walkway across 16th. Strangely, it is not open to anyone who does not park in the OPPD garage—and—let’s just say it—it is seriously ugly!
Anyway, go visit the lovely Orpheum. She’s a Grande Lady!

Edhurd on April 5, 2004 at 12:21 pm

The correct street address of Omaha’s majestic Orpheum Theater is actually 409 S. 16th St., Omaha, NE 68102 (402) 346-2323. Visit http://www.omahaorpheum.org – Ed Hurd, General Manager

beardbear31 on November 14, 2003 at 1:18 am

You can find a complete history of the Orpheum on the following webpage: View link

Bruce on December 2, 2002 at 8:49 pm

The special screening of WEST SIDE STORY on No.11 2002, helped mark the 75th.anniversary of the theatre with a sparkling new print of the film. Russ Tamblyn and Marni Nixon added to the fun. Dancers performed a tribute to the choreography of Jerome Robbins. Over 1,200 people attended. For more Info go to www.omahafilmevent.com

bryanbros on October 22, 2002 at 7:44 pm

I have recently acquired a postcard that features the Omaha Orpheum as a vaudeville theatre in 1912, suggesting that the construction date of 1925 might be in error. I am amazed and pleased that this theatre is still in use. Thanks.