Orpheum Theatre unveils its latest restoration project

posted by philbertgray on December 11, 2007 at 7:59 am

WICHITA, KS — The Orpheum Theatre, designed by noted theatre architect John Eberson, debuted its latest restoration efforts over the weekend. The public was invited to see the newly restored vestibule and box office completed at a cost of $700,000. It was the first atmospheric theatre built in the United States when it opened on September 4, 1922.

Originally a vaudeville house the theatre converted to films in the 1930s. It closed in the 1970s and remained vacant for 20 years. A restoration project was created in 1993 after the theatre narrowly escaped a conversion to condominiums and commercial space. So far $3.5 million has been spent on renovations said Mary Eves, president of the Orpheum. A total of $13 million is still needed to complete the project.

The theatre reopened in 2000 and is currently being used for both live entertainment and an ongoing film series.

An article on the Orpheum Theatre and its continued restoration, along with a photo of the vestibule, can be found on the Wichita Eagle website.

The theatre also has a web site. The site contains photographs of the theatre as well as a 25 minute documentary on the history and restoration.

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