57 S Kellogg Street,
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The Orpheum Theatre (Official)
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Styles: French Renaissance
When the Orpheum Theatre opened on August 22, 1916, it was called a veritable house of enchantment.
Designed by Rapp & Rapp in the Second Empire style of 19th century France, George Rapp called it a shrine to democracy, where the wealthy rub elbows with the poor. The theater’s interior was designed in the French Renaissance style, complete with gold leaf and ornate plasterwork. The exterior was a pastiche of neo-classical and French Second Empire styles.
The Orpheum Theatre has hosted such performers as The Marx Brothers, Harry Houdini, George Burns and Gracie Allen, and most recently, Mickey Rooney (Aug 2001). By the 1930’s, the Orpheum Theatre was showing movies and did so until showing its last film in 1982. In 1988, after a $2 million restoration project, the Orpheum Theatre was brought back to its former splendor and returned to live performances once again.
The Orpheum Theatre is now host to the Prairie Players Community Theater, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra, and many touring performers. Tours are available and visitors are welcome. It is conveniently located just off of Interstate 74.
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