Orpheum Seeks Theatre Memorabilia to Celebrate 85th Anniversary, Fall 2013

Plans are underway for the Orpheum Theatre's 85th Anniversary this fall, and citizens of the Mid-South are being called upon to share Orpheum memorabilia, pictures, and personal stories for an exhibition celebrating the Theatre's history and contribution to the local community since it was built in 1928. Memorabilia items may be loaned or sold to the theatre.

From the early days of Vaudeville, to ornate movie palace, to its current role as the city's premier performing arts centre, The Orpheum Theatre has been providing the Mid-South with the best available entertainment since its grand opening in November of 1928.

"The Orpheum has been at the heart of the Mid-South community for generations," said Pat Halloran, Orpheum President & CEO, who will talk about the Orpheum's history on WKNO's A Conversation With..., slated to air in October. "Couples dated here, some became engaged here, children have been brought here to experience their first theatre performance, and others have even performed on the stage. We want to see their pictures and hear their stories."

The Orpheum staff has already collected several rare items, including a program from the Theatre's grand opening. Now, event organizers are on the lookout for items such as letters, photographs, films, artifacts, and objects that may have been sold at various times during the Orpheum's history.

"We hope everyone will look through their attics, dust off those old photo albums, and help us fill a few gaps for our exhibition. We have some wonderful materials already, but we want the entire community to participate in the celebration, especially those who frequented the theatre during its early days," says Halloran.

In addition to the exhibit, The Orpheum is planning a wide range of events to celebrate the past 85 years, kicking off with the Orpheum's 35th Annual Auction on Saturday, November 16. Proceeds from special anniversary events will be used to maintain the historic theatre and fund the Orpheum's new Centre for Performing Arts.

"We plan to begin construction on the new Centre as early as December. As we prepare to enrich the lives of our future generations, it's only fitting that we celebrate the important role The Orpheum has played in our community's past," said Halloran.

Those wishing to share their stories with The Orpheum team or who would like to donate pictures, programs, posters, invitations, or other artifacts to the exhibition can do so by contacting Christina Torres at torres@orpheum-memphis.com.

The Orpheum Theatre is operated by the Memphis Development Foundation, a non-profit organization which depends on the financial support of the community to carry out its mission to foster the enjoyment and understanding of the arts in Memphis, as well as the economic prosperity of Downtown and surrounding areas. For more information, visit www.orpheum-memphis.com or call 901-525-7800. The Orpheum is located at 203 South Main Street Memphis, TN 38103.

A Conversation With . . . is a production of WKNO-TV and airs Thursday evenings at 9:30 weekly on Channel 10. WKNO is a non-profit, private foundation serving the Mid-South for more than 57 years. An important community resource, WKNO uses the power of non-commercial public broadcasting to provide the Mid-South with quality educational and cultural programs that inform, entertain, and inspire. For more information: wkno.org.

The Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 S. Main Street, Memphis TN 38103. The auction is set for Saturday, November 16, 2013 6:30 PM. Tickets: $125. Box office: 901.525.3000 or online at www.orpheum-memphis.com.

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