Orpheum Theatre

528 S. Main Street,
Joplin, MO 64801

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Operating prior to 1941 when it was listed with 600 seats. In 1950, the Orpheum Theatre is listed with 798 seats. Other than vintage postcards views, little information is available on the Orpheum Theatre.

Any further detail you can provide will be welcome!

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

The Orpheum in Joplin is listed in 1930 with 600 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm

The Orpheum in Joplin is mentioned in various issues of The Reel Journal as early as 1925. If the theater was built for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit, it could date back quite a bit farther. Orpheum expanded very rapidly in the region through the first two decades of the 20th century.

Like other major downtown Joplin theaters, the Orpheum was long operated by Fox Midwest. In 1952 it was of many Fox houses put up for sale to meet the requirements of the consent decree in the Federal antitrust case against the company.

After closing the house for awhile, Fox finally disposed of the business and leased the theater to an independent operator named P.D. Crockett. According to the August 28, 1954, issue of Boxoffice, Crockett intended to reopen the Orpheum on September 2. I’ve been unable to find any later references to the Orpheum in Boxoffice.

seymourcox
seymourcox on September 8, 2009 at 3:56 pm

In this 1936 color postcard can be seen the Orpheum Thetare (click image to enchance view). Next door was the Hippodrome Theatre, and across the street sat the Paramount and Fox theatres.
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seymourcox
seymourcox on September 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

Judging from google maps (528 Main) street view, the Orpheum was of Colonial style arthitecture.
Probably the Hippodrome Theatre was that double arched “nickelodeon” style structure next door.
Still trying to figure out exactly where the Paramount Theatre sat across the street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 15, 2009 at 12:44 am

As Seymour Cox says, the Orpheum was located at 528 S. Main Street. The building it was in was called the Zelleken Block, which was built no later than 1891 and originally housed retail stores on its ground floor. A theater occupied the space circa 1909, as the Orpheum had the same address as that given for the Ideal Theatre, seen in this ca1909 photo.

The building has not been demolished, by the way. It is now part of Joplin’s Sunshine Lamp Historic District, to which it is a contributing building. I don’t know if much (or any) of the theater remains, though, as it was reconverted to retail space so long ago.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

The Orpheum had a Reproduco organ.

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