Orpheum Theatre

416 N. 9th Street,
St. Louis, MO 63101

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 23 comments

JAlex on February 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

The time-frames when the Orpheum exhibited films:

December 1926 to April 1928 (with Orpheum circuit vaudeville) September 1934 to July 1936 (Warner Bros. management) July 1936 to February 1938 (Fanchon & Marco management) January 1943 to May 1960 (Loew’s management)

JAlex on September 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Labor Day in 1917 was September 3rd.

rivest266 on February 23, 2016 at 3:58 pm

January 28th, 1943 grand opening ad as a Loew’s theatre in photo section

JAlex on May 26, 2015 at 7:29 am

A few months ago I was walking by the theatre and noted one of the exit doors on St. Charles was open. Of course I looked in and saw the house lights on so I entered. I found the stage and the orchestra section being used for storage for the adjacent high-rise apartment which the Roberts brothers began and never completed before their financial troubles began.

Since the Roberts brothers no longer own the theatre, the old-Mayfair Hotel and the high-rise it would be appropriate to remove their name and catalogue the theatre as the ORPHEUM.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on May 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

The Roberts brothers who owned not only the theater but hotels, television stations, and other holdings, have had financial difficulties and have sold the theater as well as other holdings to another developer who is evaluating the next step for the theater.

spectrum on May 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Their website is gone – looks like they may have closed. The link at teecee’s 2005 post above has changed – the photos are now at: http://www.builtstlouis.net/opos/americantheater.html

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on June 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

When will the theater re-open or is the Hotel still trying to expand and demolish the auditorium and build two ballrooms while retaining the front of the Orpheum? Hope there is some good news about it being readied for a grand re-opening. Too bad the last owners tiered the main floor – hope that was not concrete and can be removed and seats put back in.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on January 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

This photograph of the Orpheum Theatre was taken by George Mann in 1927.

TLSLOEWS on August 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

Nice looking theatre.

Lak on March 8, 2010 at 9:43 am

Any current photos of the resotred carriage entrance?

JAlex on January 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

The re-do of the porte cochere on the St. Charles side of the theatre was completed last December.

DavidZornig on November 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Wow, the theatre looks great. Appears they must have done a chemical cleaning of the exterior brickwork during their renovation. The new signage looks sleek too. Updated but not overbearing. Went back to the original name. Nice job!

Lak on November 18, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Does anyone know if the work on the North side exterior archway and balcony have been completed?

teecee on March 15, 2005 at 8:34 am

Nice photos, including architectural details, at this link:

JAlex on March 3, 2005 at 8:30 am

Since the house has reverted back to its original name, the ORPHEUM, perhaps the information should now be under that name, not as the AMERICAN. House was never known as the RIALTO—that should be eliminated as an “aka”.

There is good news to report. In today’s Post-Dispatch it is reported the Orpheum will reopen April 10th.

As reported: “After more than a year of renovation — new seats, new lighting, new restrooms, even a new party room beneath the stage — the Roberts ORPHEUM Theatre will reopen to the public April 10.
"New roll-away seats will reduce the seating capacity somewhat to 1470, opening up more legroom. The multicolored friezes in the lobby, once lost in the shadows, are being scubbed and relit. The name ORPHEUM, first attached to the building when it was finished in 1917, will be restored. It had been known as the American Theatre for decades.
"And speaking of retro, the first act to hit the stage will be that boy band of yesteryear, the Backstreet Boys. The full lineup will be announced Monday, but among acts rumored headed this way are Mary Chapin Carpenter and Hydra, the band headed by Mickey Hart, formerly of the Grateful Dead.”

JamesGrebe on February 17, 2005 at 4:27 pm

The Orpheum had a Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ of 2 manuals. It chamber was loceated under the stage and spoke out throught the orchestra pit. The fate of the organ is unknown so far.

ondrums on December 26, 2004 at 9:38 am

I have never been to the Orpheum Theatre. I saw the theatre on Todd Rundgren’s tour schedule, and I will be there! Thank you for bringing Todd Rundgren to the Orpheum Theatre!


Scholes188 on November 11, 2004 at 2:11 pm

This makes me think of the Newark Paramount. After the success of the Times Square area the downtown area in Newark is ripe for redevelopment.

jimseabough on July 15, 2004 at 4:36 pm

When I was eleven,my mother took me to see the first national tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the American.Florence Henderson was Maria.
We were staying at the Mayfair next door.After the show we went to
the Rathskeller for dessert (for me) and a drink for my mom.
The cast was staying at the hotel as this was a three week engagement.Some of them were in the bar area.Interesting to an eleven year old to see Liesel (Imelda deMartin) and Maria (Ms Henderson) enjoying a couple of drafts!I’ll never forget that production…and that beautiful theatre.
It started me on a life long love affair with theatre.

JAlex on May 14, 2004 at 10:11 pm

At the present time the Roberts are not sure what they will be doing. Presently, they consider the venue “a ballroom extension to the Mayfair (Hotel)”. It is envisioned to have rentals, weddings and bar mitzvahs—in other words, continue the policy the previous owners had. No plans to return seats to the main floor (seats, incidentally, are in storage in basement). All of this, of course, subject to change. With the plans to reopen the Kiel Opera House, all of this is understandable.

JAlex on May 14, 2004 at 8:48 am

At a Landmarks tour of the theatre this week, one of the Roberts Brothers stated that theatre will again be called the ORPHEUM.

JAlex on October 19, 2002 at 10:15 pm

Theatre opened as the Orpheum on Labor Day, 1917. A pure vaudeville house at the time, with two-a-day & reserved seats.

Architect was G. Albert Lansburgh.

mkmarshall on February 7, 2002 at 7:09 am

I have been in contact with the current owner of the Orpheum (American) Theater, and he said the theater is available for performing arts groups or as a meeting hall. They have changed the downstairs by removing the original seats (which they still have) and installing risers. Current seating capacity is 1853. Other than that, the interior and exterior are near original. The entire area around the theater is undergoing major renovation, which should be complete next year. Most of that work involves two historic hotels which are being refurbished. Hopefully all of this will help ensure a bright future for this great theater.