Orpheum Theater (New Orleans)
The Orpheum, also known was RKO Orpheum, was constructed in 1918 and was open for business as a place for vaudeville acts in 1921. Soon afterwards it became a movie theater and the purcahsed by Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. However, in recent years the theater has had issues with damage from Hurricane Katrina and handful of companies failing to restore and reopen it. Just a couple years ago, the theater reopened to the public.
Backstory and Context
G. Albert Lansburgh designed the 1,500-seat New Orleans Orpheum that was built in 1918 and opened for vaudeville in 1921. The New Orleans theater arrived as vaudeville began to give way to an ever increasingly popular movie industry, thus quickly transitioned into a movie house. In 1983, the Orpheum was scheduled for demolition, however the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra purchased it and spent $3 million renovating the building, which served as the orchestra's home until 1991, when it collapsed financially.2
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) stepped in and purchased the building. The LPO musicians enjoyed the auditorium for its acoustical purity resulting from its "vertical hall" construction intended to benefit vaudeville entertainers prior to the existence of amplifiers and electronics.3
2 New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 7, 2006,
3 Chris Waddington, "LPO sets 2015-16 season opener at restored Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, Sept. 17," NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), February 2, 2015, http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2015/02/lpo_sets_2015-16_season_opener.html
"local physician to buy, reopen Orpheum Theater". The Gambit. January 18, 2014.
"LPO sets 2015-16 season opener at restored Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, Sept. 17". nola.com/Times-Picayune. February 2, 2015.