129 University Place,
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Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans (Official)
Architects: G. Albert Lansburgh
Previous Names: RKO Orpheum Theatre
News About This Theater
- Jul 21, 2009 — Update on status of New Orleans theaters
The original Orpheum Theatre was located at 432 St. Charles Avenue and was opened prior to 1914. This ‘new’ Orpheum Theatre opened in 1918 as a vaudeville theatre. It was known as the RKO Orpheum Theatre, and became a movie theatre for a while. It was scheduled to be demolished in 1969.
However, it was purchsed by the New Orleans Symphony and was restored. After the New Orleans Symphony folded, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the nation’s largest musician-owned professional symphony orchestra took over, and made the theatre its home. The acoustics and lines were ideal. Concerts and other artistic performances and speeches took place in the building. The Orpheum Theatre was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters inundated the theatre basement, which housed electrical systems, and part of the orchestra level. In 2011, it was undergoing renovations, which continued in 2014. It reopened in August 2015 and is now home to the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra.
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