Marion Cultural and Civic Center

800 Tower Square Plaza,
Marion, IL 62959

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Records of the American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Co. indicate that architect Samuel W. Bihr, Jr. designed alterations for the Orpheum Theatre in Marion. The records don’t list the year of the project.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The Orpheum had a Mighty WurliTizer Theater Pipe Organ. A 2/4 (manual/rank, keyboards/set of pipes) with a piano console. It had 280 pipes, a piano (with mandolin attachment), cathedral chimes, xylophone, glockenspiel, bass drum, kettle drum, cymbal, snare drum, tambourine, castanets, Chinese block, sleigh bells, horse hoofs, bird, auto horn, fire gong, siren, triangle, surf, train, fire gong, steamboat whistle, tom tom and door bell. Professor Earl Rogers had the fun of playing the Huge WurliTizer Organ opening night.

Anyone know what happened to the organ?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Vaudeville, Old and New by Frank Cullen lists the Orpheum Theatre at Marion as a Gus Sun House. Sun liked the name Orpheum and had several theaters of that name in his regional circuit, and was free to do so because nobody connected with the actual Orpheum circuit had ever trademarked the name.

I don’t think that the Marion Orpheum was ever part of Martin Beck’s Orpheum circuit. Most of that circuit’s houses were west of the Mississippi, and those that were east of it were in large cities such as Chicago and New York.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

This web page has several photos of the original Orpheum Theatre.

melders on January 14, 2005 at 12:33 am

The Civic Center is having its open house this weekend.

sandman on September 14, 2004 at 3:00 pm

It’s a success!
Though still a ways away from “100%” finished, pending further fundraising efforts, the new Marion C&C Center is already exciting – already inspiring – already instilling that wonderful feeling of accomplishment in another new generation of young performers, and joy in the reminiscing of those returning.
The latest photos will be found here:
As you can see, the final (improved:) design included the original entrance facade that was saved, integrated right into the new corner entry; the way it was years ago, but with an outer glass shell to provide the double-entry needed for the new air-conditioned facility.

The first new musical of this new age of the center will always be remembered by the people as well as the children of Marion, who performed the Jr. version of “The Fiddler On The Roof” to two nights of sold out crowds!

We’ll also cherish the crowd who carved out a special place in the heart of Christian artist Mark Schultz years ago, then packed the new house to welcome him back once again, beginning another chapter of praise and worship in the heart of Marion.

Now that enough of the building is complete to allow quality events and memories like these, it will surely be only a matter of time before more generous individuals step forward to help out this small town with it’s dedicated crew of big dreamers who envision all the potential of the arts in Southern Illinois.

Concerts and musicals, plays and performances; Community Choirs and Community Theater, it’s nice to know the dream is still alive, and will have such a great place to call home!

melders on August 14, 2004 at 11:08 pm

The building has still not been declared finished, although there have already been several events held here. There are also several events planed for the next few weeks.

melders on March 30, 2004 at 12:53 pm

This theater is set to open next month. The original facade is included in the design, but it’s placement has been changed. If you go to the web site above, they show the facade on the side of the building. The facade is now on the corner, at the entrance, which is where it was on the original. The building is very good looking, and the facade is beautiful. I never remember seeing the original, since I was in grade school when it burned, but can remember when it did. I also think that the status of the building should be changed to demolished, since the new building is much bigger than the original, and is not designed to be a movie theater.