Orpheum Theatre

910 Hennepin Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm

1954 photo added. Photo credit Gary Schwartz, taken by his father.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm

1933 photo added courtesy of Randy Inghram.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm

11/13/72 photo added, photo credit Denny Schwartz, courtesy of Gary Schwartz. Looking South from 9th Street.

dmmaasch
dmmaasch on December 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

I managed the Orpheum Theatre at 910 Hennepin Avenue in the 1970’s. This is the second Orpheum theatre and, according to the blueprints, was built as the Junior Orpheum to the original theatre two blocks away, even though the surviving theatre is nearly 700 seats larger. I also have original blueprints of the main floor. It was originally designed, and was built as it now stands. The 9th Street vestibule was always meant to be for exiting only, it was never intended to be an entrance.

theatre
theatre on October 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

The New Hennepin theatre is shown as the current Orpheum theatre on a few sites. It is a different building allgeather. It was on 9th street and Hennipen Ave. Is it still standing, or was it replaced by the current Orpheum?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

George Burns mentioned on his TV show (in 1954) that he played this theater.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 31, 2010 at 9:47 pm

From the late 1950s a photo postcard view of the Orpheum along Gopher which is on the opposite side and up the street.

Aparofan
Aparofan on March 22, 2009 at 5:35 am

Here’s a 1997 shot of the Orpheum.

View link

Ryan McGuire Grimes
Ryan McGuire Grimes on October 25, 2008 at 1:59 am

For those of you curious about the lobby, I recommend viewing the Orpheum’s Technical Specifications. The last page has a detailed floor plan of the main lobby, which faces Hennepin Avenue, and you will quickly see how the capacity of this lobby compares to the original 9th Street-facing lobby, which is now referred to as a “vestibule”, a more appropriate term for its size. The vestibule is quite awkward as it has low ceilings and its floor is severely graded to make up for the significant difference between the level of the foyer and street level.

The repositioning of the lobby adequately responds to the traffic issues when audiences arrive for a performance, but there is still a significant traffic problem when exiting. I recently attended a sold-out performance, at which I was seated toward the front on the right aisle. Ushers are positioned to prevent people from exiting onto 1st Avenue, so a majority of people go straight for the 9th Street exits (through the awkward vestibule) rather than snake back to the Hennepin Avenue entrance, which results in a pouring of people onto 9th Street due to the narrow sidewalk.

williame303
williame303 on October 8, 2007 at 6:35 pm

I just attended a session of the National Trust for Historic Preservation at this theatre. And yes, it has a very odd lobby — long and narrow. As I had to catch the bus, I wasn’t able to walk around the block to get a better idea of how it all fits together. We were told in our printed material that Bob Dylan once owned this theatre. I don’t know how long or how it was used.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 14, 2007 at 7:51 am

Patsy- the info that I have (from THSA notes) is that the Orpheum had a 3-manual Kilgen organ with twin consoles, but it was removed, probably a long time ago. The auditorium does feature an enormous crystal chandelier, “15 feet high, and weighing one ton”. The THSA is planning to visit the Orpheum and other theatres in the Twin Cities in mid-June, 2007.

Patsy
Patsy on April 14, 2007 at 5:12 am

Lost Memory: Thanks for the great collection of interior photos. Do you know whether this theatre has an organ or hopefully an original organ since it was built in 1921 and was a silent movie/vaudville house?

Patsy
Patsy on April 13, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Neat vertical marquee!

Would like to see some interior photos.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 4, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Here is a 1930 view of the marquee:
http://tinyurl.com/qq7kc

intern
intern on July 25, 2005 at 7:28 am

Can anyone help me make a connection between the current Orpheum theatre and SL Rothafel, “Roxy” I’ve found tons of info on his involvement with other theatres in Minneapolis but nothing really about the Orpheum.

William
William on April 20, 2005 at 9:10 am

The Orpheum Theatre opened October 16th, 1921.

Patsy
Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 4:51 pm

While going through the Minneapolis theatres that are still open I wondered if this is the theatre that Brian Williams broadcast the NBC Nightly News from on Thursday, Jan. 13th?

kbaichtal
kbaichtal on February 18, 2004 at 6:29 pm

Here’s a 1925 view of the Orpheum Theater front entrance at 908-910 Hennepin Avenue. (MN Historical Society)

View link

I worked there from about 1990-1992 and was told that this entrance is a second one that was built after the original entrance on 9th street proved unable to handle large volumes of traffic. This one houses the audience waiting to get in in a huge lobby/hallway about half a block long that leads to the original theater building. You can see how skinny it is in the photo. The bulk of the theater is on the other side of the block, between 9th and 10th and the side is on 1st Av N.

Here’s a 1922 picture of the old entrance and the theater proper (I’m not sure if this is how the entrance looked when the theater was new or not):

View link

Write me if any questions… I’ll try to answer with info circa early 90’s if possible.

Kirk
Kirk on October 8, 2003 at 10:21 am

The photo you have is of the 1904 Minneapolis Orpheum which was located on 7th Street in Minneapolis. It was later named the 7th Street and closed in the 1930s and was razed.
The 1921 Minneapolis Orpheum which opened as the Hennepin and has been restored is a totally different theatre. Also the 1921 Orpheum ran movies up the mid 1970s.

Kirk
Kirk on January 13, 2002 at 3:58 pm

I regret to say that the photo you have up of the Minneapolis Orpheum is actually the Minneapolis Orpheum which opened in 1904 and closed in the 1930s as the 7th Street Theatre. The restored Minneapolis Orphuem which is open today is a larger house, several blocks away from where this earlier Orpheum stood. By the way today’s Orpheum played movies until 1978. To see a photo of the present Orpheum and the restored Minneapolis State Theatre check out their web site which is I believe State-Orpheum.com, if that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll direct to another.