146 Main Avenue North,
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The Orpheum Theatre opened on October 31, 1921, with 900 seats. In 1940 it was remodelled to the plans of architect Slack W. Winburn. In the 1950’s, when it was an Intermountain Theatre, many considered the Orpheum Theatre to have the sharpest, although small, CinemaScope screen in Idaho. This was probably because the projection booth was built downstairs instead of in the balcony, giving a rather short and direct throw.
The Orpheum Theatre still has a very sharp and small picture but when the lights go down in the restored 1920’s auditorium, the walls seem to close in giving a very intimate viewing experience. The balcony is closed now with its approximately 250 seats removed.
In contrast to the auditorium, the concession stand and outer lobby have a clean, contemporary look. It used to have a full marquee and now it has one that sits flush with the front of the building.
In keeping with downtown urban renewal that began in 1970, it was called the Mall Cinema for many years and then changed back to the Orpheum Theatre in the late-1990’s to reflect its location in Historic Old Towne, a part of the Twin Falls Downtown Historic District. The district was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Another downtown theater, the Idaho Theatre, was completely demolished. The Orpheum Theatre was last operated by Interstate Amusement and was closed May 26, 2014. Renovations were carried out and it had a ‘soft’ reopening in December 2014. The balcony has been re-opened and the seating capacity is now 465.
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