Orpheum Theatre

87 E. Main Street,
Xenia, OH 45385

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Chakeres Theaters Inc.

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Orphium Theatre

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Orpheum Theatre

The Orphium Theatre was opened in 1909 in a conversion of a dry goods store. By 1950 it was operated by Chakeres Theaters Inc. and had been renamed Orpheum Theatre. It was closed in 1952.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm

The Google fetches a bit information about this theater, but only if you search using the spelling Orphium. As an October 24, 2015 article in the Xenia Gazette notes, the original owner, Henry Binder “…spelled Orphium with the ‘I’ so it would not be confused with the Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit.”

The Orphium was located at the corner of E. Main and Whiteman Street, and was in operation by 1912. It was still being advertised as the Orphium in the mid-1940s, but it’s possible that when Chakeres took over (which I believe was in the late 1940s) they converted to the orthodox spelling Orpheum. I haven’t seen any ads from that period, though.

Texas2step on June 18, 2018 at 4:49 pm

The address is 87 East Main Street. The building still exists. Function should be restaurant. The following information comes from a National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.

87 E. Main Street (restored 2012)

Bee-Hive/Orphium Theater

This 3½-story brick building with Italianate features has a tall parapet wall with a slightly pitched gable roof. The front façade was recently renovated based on historic photographic documentation. The building had been covered by a mid-century masonry façade with nonoriginal fenestration. The façade at the first floor level has a contemporary wooden storefront with a recessed double entrance door and is flanked by wooden pilasters at each end. The upper facade is symmetrical, and the 2nd and third floor levels each have 3 bays with 6/6 double hung wood windows and wooden window hoods.

The facade is capped with a wooden box cornice with brackets above rectangular louvered vents. The renovation included the rehabilitation of the original brick facade and restoration of the original fenestration pattern at the upper levels. The parapet wall and cornice, windows and wooden window trim were all replicated based on historic documentation.

This building served as the “Bee-Hive” store, which sold dry goods, china and fancy goods, from 1896-1907. In 1909, it was converted to the Orphium Theater, which occupied the space until 1952. Since that time, it served as additional space for Montgomery Ward, a thrift shop, and a dance studio.

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