Orpheum Theatre

513 Atlantic Avenue,
Morris, MN 56267

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Chris1982 on June 30, 2014 at 2:16 am

In 1926 theatres listed as open in Morris are the Strand & Lawlor, in 1927 just the Strand, in 1928 & 1929 the Strand and the Orpheum is listed as closed. In 1930 just the Strand is listed. The Orpheum is not listed at all after 1929.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm

This page at the Morris Theatre’s web site says that the Orpheum opened in 1912, and competed with the Strand into the mid-1920s, but then both houses were bought by B. J. Benfield and the Orpheum was shuttered.

Although the Orpheum ceased to operate as a full-time movie theater at that time, a local resident remembers it being used occasionally through the 1930s for traveling shows, local live events, and what he called “cowboy shows,” which took place on Saturdays and for which admission was ten cents.

I presume that “cowboy shows” means western movies. Larger towns often had a full-time theater that specialized in westerns, or westerns and adventure moves, while the town’s “A” house offered more varied fare. Morris was probably just too small to support two full-time theaters, but large enough to have both houses open on Saturday when the farmers and residents of smaller outlying settlements came into town.