Renovated Gem

The Orpheum Theater reopens with sparkling lineup.

Ten years after the storm and a few years shy of its 100th birthday, the Orpheum Theater is again open for business. The year-long, $13 million renovation was unveiled last week and performances are already sold out.

Built in 1918 in the Beaux Arts style, the Orpheum has been restored with attention to historic detail. The paint palate is exactly as it was in 1921 and the lobby’s terra cotta ceiling and the plasterwork throughout the building have been redone by hand. Its elevator, one of the first in Southern American theaters, has also been fully restored.

But as they say, history is in the past, and the Orpheum is looking to the future. An adjustable orchestra floor was added to allow for special events and removable seating, providing a range of 1,500-1,800 seats. State-of-the art audio and lighting systems were installed to complement the original acoustics. VIP levels were added for special seating options, and guests can choose from six bars and catering from Bella Luna to satisfy their appetites. 

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Located at 129 Roosevelt Way, the Orpheum is steps away from the French Quarter and easily walkable from the surrounding neighborhoods. Tourists will find a reason to go there even if they don’t have tickets to a show. Its three-story façade is an architectural gem and the renovation has returned a wonderful New Orleans landmark back to us.

Performances are, however, its raison d’etre and their renewed partnership with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra launches with a sold-out show Sept.  17. The encore performance on Sept. 19 still has some tickets available, and the choice of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," is highly fitting.

Additional upcoming shows include Dwight Yoakum, Wilco with William Tyler, The Wizard of Oz movie with orchestral accompaniment, and the Paul Taylor Modern Dance Company. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, as the anchor tenant, will also continue their performance season there.

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Whether you’re making a trip to New Orleans or you’re a local looking for a night out on the town, consider a night at the Orpheum and experience the splendor of architecture and acoustics.

Tickets and information on event booking can be found at www.orpheumnola.com.

 

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