The Orpheum Theatre, located on South Main Street at Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, was built in 1928 and is one of the few remaining "movie palaces" of the 1920s. The theatre presents a variety of events from Broadway shows and concerts to films. A $4.7 million renovation in the 1980s included refurbishing of ornamental plasterwork, crystal chandeliers and original furnishings plus remodeling of backstage and technical areas. It seats 2,400.
In 1976, Malco decided to sell the building, and there was talk of demolishing the old theater to build an office complex. However, in 1977, the Memphis Development Foundation purchased The Orpheum and began bringing Broadway productions and concerts back to the theatre.
After 54 years, The Orpheum was closed on Christmas in 1982 to begin a $5 million renovation to restore The Theatre to its 1928 opulence. A grand reopening celebration was held in January 1984 and it signaled the rebirth of entertainment in downtown Memphis.
The Orpheum, which is managed by the Memphis Development Foundation, presents two seasons of Broadway tours. In fact, on an average annual basis, The Orpheum has presented more Broadway touring productions than any other theater in the country.
In addition to bringing the finest Broadway Productions to the area, a wide array of entertainers have graced the Orpheum's stage.
Two of Memphis' local arts groups, Ballet Memphis and Opera Memphis, also call The Orpheum home. Ballet Memphis also holds performances at Playhouse on the Square while as The Orpheum Theatre becomes more and more of a "road-house" for Broadway productions on tour.
The Orpheum Theatre, a non-profit organization, continues to flourish because of the generous support of the community.