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Orpheum Theatre (Los Angeles)

The Orpheum Theatre on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles opened on February 15, 1926, as the fourth and final Los Angeles venue for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.[1] After a $3 million renovation, started in 1989, it is the most restored of the historical movie palaces in the city.

Orpheum Theatre
Los angeles orpheum marquee.JPG
The Orpheum Theatre marquee
Address 842 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, California
United States
Capacity 2000
Current use concerts, movie premiers, location shoots
Opened February 15, 1926
Rebuilt 1989

G. Albert Lansburgh

Robert Brown Young

The Orpheum has a Beaux Arts facade designed by movie theater architect G. Albert Lansburgh and has a Mighty Wurlitzer organ, installed in 1928, that is one of three pipe organs remaining in Southern California venues.[1]

The Orpheum theatres are named for the Greek mythological figure, Orpheus.


Venue performersEdit

Wurlitzer theatre organ console

Soon after it was opened, it was a popular venue for burlesque queen Sally Rand, the Marx Brothers, Will Rogers, Judy Garland (singing with her family as Frances "Baby" Gumm) and comedian Jack Benny, as well as jazz greats Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington.[2] Vaudeville acts were still playing the Orpheum as late as 1950.[3]

In the 1960s, the theater held rock 'n' roll concerts featuring Little Richard, Aretha Franklin and Little Stevie Wonder. The restored Orpheum Theatre is now a venue for live concerts, movie premieres, and location shoots.[4] The love metal band HIM played there for their CD/DVD live album Digital Versatile Doom. The 2010 Streamy Awards were live broadcast from the theater.

Location shootsEdit

Broadcasts of American Idol and America's Got Talent, the Season 5 finale of The Apprentice, the seventh- and eighth-season finales of RuPaul's Drag Race, and filming of The Last Action Hero and Transformers were hosted here. The Orpheum also appeared as the first venue for the Chipmunks' world tour in the 2007 Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

In the 2007, film In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Wilson (Scoot McNairy) and Vivian (Sara Simmonds) do a quick tour of the Orpheum on their "first date". In the movie Hop, David Hasselhoff hosted a talent show contest there. The building's facade appears in Avril Lavigne's music video for "I'm With You". The season premiere of American Horror Story: Roanoke had a few shots taken on the outside of the theater.

Guns N' Roses filmed part of November Rain at the Orpheum in 1992.

Brandi Carlile filmed her music video for "The Story" at the Orpheum in 2007 and then returned to the Orpheum in 2017 on her tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Story album.

Taylor Swift filmed her music video for "Mean" at the Orpheum in 2011.

The Orpheum Theatre building.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Geffner, David (January–February 2008), "Screen Gems", Westways, 100 (1): 62–65
  2. ^ Lawson, Kristan, & Rufus, Anneli. California Babylon. New York: St. Martins Press (2000), p. 125.
  3. ^ Alleman, Richard. Hollywood: The Movie Lover's Guide. Random House, Inc. (2005), p. 189.
  4. ^ "Orpheum Theatre History". Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-01-18.

External linksEdit