Seventh Street Theatre

25 S. Seventh Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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Orpheum Theatre exterior

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Minneapolis' first Orpheum Theatre opened in 1904, an elegant and luxurious Beaux-Arts building built for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.

Seating around 1,490, the Orpheum Theatre’s impressive facade of limestone and terra cotta featured the circuit’s name boldly inscribed above the two-story colonnade above the main entrance, which was covered by a simple glass-and-iron canopy marquee. In the early years, the only signage on the first Orpheum Theatre was the theater’s name in large letters on the rooftop, illuminated by lightbulbs at night.

Among the many big-name performers in the Orpheum Theatre’s vaudeville days was Houdini, in his first Minneapolis appearance, in 1915.

When the Orpheum circuit built the much larger and more ornate Hennepin in 1921, they made that theater there new Minneapolis home a year later, renaming it the Orpheum Theatre. The first Orpheum Theatre reopened in 1922 as the Seventh Street Theatre, and switched over to movies.

The Seventh Street Theatre closed in 1940, and was torn down soon after, a sad ending for a still-beautiful and usable theater.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

William
William on April 20, 2005 at 9:11 am

The Seventh Street Theatre opened on October 22nd, 1904.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 20, 2008 at 8:56 am

This is a circa 1911 postcard showing an Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

The first Orpheum was designed by the architectural firm of Kees & Caldwell. The same firm later designed the Loring Theatre and the Stimson Building, the two-floor commercial block associated with B. Marcus Priteca’s Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 2:46 am

Oy. I meant Kees and Colburn, of course. Where did Caldwell come from? I need to get more sleep.

kjb2012
kjb2012 on December 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

This picture is of the Orpheum in St. Paul. After it’s Orpheum days it became the President. Otherwise the info on the first Minneapolis Orpheum later the 7th street is correct.

kjb2012
kjb2012 on December 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Please delete the photo. It is not the Minneapolis Orphuem but the St Paul one!

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