Orpheum Theater Center
220 East Main Street,
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Orpheum Theater Center (Official)
Architects: Al Svensson
Firms: Svensson & Edstrom
Previous Names: RKO Orpheum Theatre, Orpheum Theatre
News About This Theater
The Orpheum Theatre was the first theatre built by RKO following World War II. It opened June 22, 1949 with Ruth Warrick and Gabby Hayes as featured guests and with 915 original seats. The theater was constructed to replace the Capitol Theatre which was destroyed by fire in 1946.
Marshalltown is the birthplace of film stars Jean Seberg and Mary Beth Hurt. And because of this connection, in 1957, the theater was host to the US premiere of Jean Seberg’s “Saint Joan”.
The theater was closed by its previous operator, Fridley’s, in favor of their nearby multiplex. Concerned local residents have formed a non-profit to save the Orpheum Theatre.
The group purchased the theater and transformed it into a multi-purpose community facility. It shows films, has lecture and symposium spaces, and features a stage & screen museum (which is located in the vacated rear area created during the theater’s late-1970’s twin conversion). Renovation began in 2008 with completion in the summer of 2010.
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