Orpheum Theatre

102 S. 4th Street,
Clarksburg, WV 26301

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Orpheum Theatre

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The Orpheum Theatre opened May 1, 1913 and operated until 1929. It was located next door to the Opera House on S. 4th Street. It was demolished in 1929 and replaced with the Monongahela Power Company Building. This, in turn, has been replaced by a BB&T Bank location.

Contributed by Khnemu

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 29, 2015 at 12:12 pm

The text above a picture of the Orpheum about halfway down this web page says that the house opened on May 1, 1913.

In its early years, the Orpheum was operated by Jack Marks, who also operated Clarksburg’s first movie house, the Star Theatre, and later opened Moore’s Opera House. From 1922 until closing, the Orpheum was operated by Claude Robinson, of Robinson’s Grand Theatre.

After giving up the Orpheum, Marks took over an early house on West Main Street, originally called the Odeon and later the Bijou, and renamed it Marks' Orpheum, which he operated until his death in 1952, so Clarksburg had two houses with the Orpheum name from 1922 until 1929. Marks also built the Ritz Theatre in 1927.

The last photo on the page I linked to shows the Ritz, directly across Pike Street from the Monongahela Power Company Building which has a parapet identical to the Orpheum’s in the earlier photo. As the photo dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, I believe the power company building must have been the Orpheum building remodeled, in which case the theater was not demolished in 1929, but merely dismantled and the power company offices built in its shell.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm

At this link is a clearer version of the early postcard photo of the Orpheum I linked to in the previous comment (click photo to enlarge.)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on December 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

In 1915 the Orpheum got a 2-manual, 8-rank, pipe organ built by M.P. Moller, their opus number 1954, for $3,250. That suggests the possibility that movies were not on the bill when the theatre opened. Orpheum was originally a vaudeville company of course. Or possibly this was an upgrade from a smaller instrument. Who’s to say at this point?

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