Orpheum Theatre

122 N. 5th Street,
Springfield, IL 62703

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DavidZornig on August 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

Orpheum Lobby photo added, 1965 photo credit Springfield Rewind facebook page.

DavidZornig on August 7, 2017 at 11:34 am

1929 photo added courtesy of Patrick Gillespie‎.

rivest266 on July 27, 2015 at 9:59 am

April 30th, 1927 grand opening ad in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Roger6: I’m not connected with Cinema Treasures except as an active long-time user familiar with its workings, and I’ve been able to puzzle out some of the features of the new site.

The attribution on this page only means that the theater was added to the database by P Shaw. Your photo attribution is on a different page. Click on the “Photos” link above the picture, or on the photo itself, then click on the thumbnail on the page the link fetches, and that will take you to the page where the photo and the comments you uploaded are displayed (the link to your Flickr page isn’t working, though. I don’t think they’ve worked out all the bugs yet.)

To the right of that photo on its own page it does say that it was uploaded by Roger6. There’s also a box below the photo where viewers can leave comments on the photo itself. Your user name to the right of the photo on that page is also a link, and it will take you to a page where thumbnails of all the photos you upload will be on display.

If you need more detailed information, you’ll have to contact the site’s moderators. The contact email addresses are on a page linked from the “About” page, which in turn is linked in the banner at the top of every page.

Roger6 on June 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Don’t want to sound arrogant, but I (Roger Beltz) uploaded the pictures you are seeing on this page (Not P Shaw). I don’t know what happened to the comments that I entered at the time I uploaded this picture. The comments seen below the picture might be that of P Shaw but, as I say, I uploaded the picture and I have this picture licensed under Creative Commons as © All Rights Reserved. It seems that the upload application being used my Cinema Treasures is not working properly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm

There are three more photos of the Orpheum in this Flickr set.

From YouTube, here is a 57 second clip of Mark Gifford playing the Orpheum’s Barton organ, now installed at Springfield High School.

Sudsnsadie on May 5, 2011 at 11:46 am

My brother-in-law (David Eugene Punches) was a manager who hired entertainment/celebrities at the Orpheum in the 30’s. I have 30+ signed photos of the great and near great of this time period. Duke ellington, Cab calloway, Rita Rio, Dick Powell, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Stephin Fetchit, Harry Black Sr., Faith Bacon,Erskine Hawkins, Etc. Etc.If anyone has any interest of purchasing any of these-let me know-I’ll send a list of what’s available.

Ted Wanack

properduck on April 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

The golden-voiced 3-11 Barton Organ with its white console adorned by gold filigree was played on opening day by Joe Gibbs Spring. It was used regularly until about 1940 when a roof leak damaged the solo chamber. The organ was not restored to operation until 1960. Tom Harmon, Johnny Ferguson and Wendell Kennedy played it the last few years.
This from the jacket notes of Concert Recording CR0005 made in 1965.

Willo on January 25, 2007 at 12:31 pm

RogerB, I have 3 photos of the interior of the grand Orpheum palace in Springfield. I took them from a publication featuring the history of the beautiful movie palace. I can email them to you if you want.

My personal email is:

They aren’t the best quality, but you can see well the beauty of the interior. Contact me if interested.

William Blasdel, Miami, Fl.

CathyS on September 17, 2006 at 9:40 am

The Barton organ from the Orpheum theater is still at Springfield High School.

wthompson on August 31, 2006 at 1:35 pm

During the 60’s, I attended the Orpheum on many occasions and thought it was the gem of all the movie houses in downtown Springfield. When it was closed the huge organ that sat in the orchestra pit was moved to Springfield High School. It may very well still be there.

Roger6 on July 10, 2006 at 5:24 am

Growing up in Springfield in the 50s-60s, I always thought the Orpheum Theater was a beautiful, grand theater (even as a crazy teenager!). After graduation from high school, my parents moved to Kansas City and soon thereafter, Uncle Sam called me. Long story but I finally settled in the Chicago area but still have fond memories of going to the Orpheum with my friends – not only to watch movies but to bowl and play billards in the lower level of the theater.

If anyone reading this would have any good pictures (inside and outside) of this grand theater (especially circa 50s period), I would gladly pay a reasonable fee to get these pictures.

kencmcintyre on June 1, 2006 at 3:26 pm

I am re-posting TC’s link as it appears out of order:

Willo on March 8, 2006 at 5:00 pm

I have 2 or 3 nice photos of the great Orpheum…….main lobby and the balcony. I could email them to any that want them. I still remember the awesome beauty and size of that great palace in Springfield. Shame on us for allowing these wonderful buildings to be demolished. This Orpheum was replaced by a bank drive through…. and now,I understand the bank has closed. This is called progress??

That theater was one of the most beautiful and largest in Illinois. Such a shame.

CathyS on January 27, 2006 at 3:02 pm

My father worked at the Orpheum in the mid sixties. In fact, he was the last one out of the theater before it was demolished. I have several photos I would be willing to share. I was six years old and my mom, sister and I were allowed to play the beautiful organ there. I also remember the last show being Shennendoah with Jimmy Stewart.

altonrr on November 6, 2005 at 5:40 pm

I was lucky to enough to locate two great interior shots of the Orpheum. One shows upstairs waiting area and the seats down stairs. The photo appears to be taken from the screen looking up. If anyone is interested, I could probably get copies to these made.

mheriford on November 5, 2005 at 5:53 am

I am seeking information, photos, and layouts of theatres in Springfield, Il. I am planning a theatre themed restaurant and dinner theatre, in Springfield, Il, and need some help with historic THeatres, I know that there was the strand and the orpheum. Does anyone know of any pictures or history?

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on August 11, 2005 at 7:19 pm

Good God, William and KenRoe, I swear you guys find more information than is humanly possible. William is like a written encyclopedia; KenRoe is like a photographic archive.

Great Guys… :)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 28, 2005 at 4:16 pm

The architect of the Orpheum Theatre was theatre specialist Edward P. Rupert of Chicago with D.N. Sandine as supervising architect.

William on April 20, 2005 at 9:16 am

The Orpheum Theatre opened on Saturday, April 30th, 1927.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on October 28, 2004 at 9:41 am

My father, Meredith Rhule, Sr., was the Sangamon County Sheriff there in the late 40s, early 50s. I remember Frank Sinatra portraying him as a WWII hero in a movie that played at the Orpheum. In those days, he couldn’t receive credits in the flick due to “conflicts of interests” with regards to political figures.

Jeanlawlerbell on April 9, 2004 at 6:59 pm

My father, Ralph W. Lawler was manager of the Orpheum Theater in Springfield Illinois in the early 1930s…I have memories as a small child of the theater and have a photo of the theater. In fact the Orpheum was robbed while my father was the manager and the robber didn’t want to believe that my father did not know the combination to the safe….but he was willing to wait until an employee who did have the combination arrived for work…and then the robber stole the money in the safe! Jean Lawler Bell