The Orpheum Theatre is one of Memphis' most beloved and historic landmarks. With a rich history and shows to entertain people of all ages, the Orpheum is a popular destination for locals and tourists, alike.
The Orpheum Theatre is located at:
203 South Main Street at the corner of Beale in downtown Memphis.
Early History - The Grand Opera House:
The original Orpheum Theatre was built in 1890 and was called The Grand Opera House. At the time, it was known as "the classiest theatre outside of New York City." With vaudeville making up the majority of shows, the theatre became part of The Orpheum Circuit of vaudeville shows in 1907. Soon, the theatre was known as simply, The Orpheum.
The Fire and Rebirth:
In 1923, The Grand Opera House burned to the ground during a strip-tease show. Five years later, a new theatre was built at the original location but was double the size of The Grand. This theatre was officially named The Orpheum. Vaudeville continued to be the theatre's most popular form of entertainment until 1940.
In 1940, Malco, the city's largest movie theater chain, purchased the Orpheum. The Malco showed first-run movies for the next 36 years.
The Memphis Development Foundation bought the theatre in 1976 and in 1982, began a five million dollar renovation. In 1984, the Orpheum Theatre held its grand reopening, having been restored to its original elegance.
The Orpheum Theatre hosts two seasons of Broadway shows annually, bringing favorites such as Cats
, Mamma Mia
, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
During the summer months, the Orpheum shows classic movies each week on its big screen, during its Summer Movie Series.
In addition to Broadway shows and movies, the Orpheum hosts many other plays, operas, concerts, and comedy acts.
You may contact the Orpheum Theatre at:
203 South Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
or online at: