Venue Guide: The Orpheum Theatre Memphis, TN

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis History

Blocks from the Mississippi River, at the corner of South Main and Beale, the Orpheum Theatre has been a vital part of the city’s culture since the 19th century. Built in 1890 as the Grand Opera House, the vaudeville hotspot became known as the Orpheum by the 1900s. It burned to the ground in 1923 but was built anew in 1928 and began hosting films, theatrical events and live music. It became the Malco movie theater in 1940. In danger of closing in 1977, it was bought by a nonprofit foundation and added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1984 the restored Orpheum reopened, complete with crystal chandeliers and a monumental Wurlitzer organ. In 2013 the Orpheum’s empire was expanded with the opening of the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education, erected right alongside it. Between the Orpheum and the Halloran, visitors experience the best in music, comedy, theater and more.

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis Performers

Back in the golden olden days, the Orpheum was the spot to see legends like Eddie Cantor, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In more recent years, the venue has hosted superstars of rock, country, R&B and comedy, presenting performances by Elvis Costello, Maxwell, Willie Nelson, Penn & Teller, Bill Maher, Nine Inch Nails and Wilco.

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Planning Your Visit to The Orpheum Theatre Memphis

The Orpheum’s concessions offer candy and drinks, and the lobby has two full-service bars. Neighborhood eateries are partners supporting the theater: Try the pulled pork at Central BBQ, bacon-wrapped stuffed shrimp at Café Ole, shrimp and grits at Itta Bena, burritos and tacos at Swanky’s Taco Shop, or the raw oyster bar at 117 Prime.

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis Frequently Asked Questions

What are The Orpheum Theatre Memphis parking options?

The venue doesn’t have its own lot, but you’ll find parking lots within a block of the Orpheum on both S. Front St. and Beale St., as well as street parking.

Does The Orpheum Theatre Memphis serve food?

The Orpheum’s concessions sell candy and beverages, but for full meals, restaurants are right nearby in downtown Memphis.

What are the seating options at The Orpheum Theatre Memphis?

With a capacity of 2,308 guests, the Orpheum’s seating is divided between orchestra, mezzanine, grand tier, balcony, lower and upper gallery levels. Get tickets here.

What are The Orpheum Theatre Memphis safety & security guidelines?

Safety precautions include mandatory face coverings, capacity limits and sanitization. For more details on the venue’s COVID-19 protocols, go here.

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis At A Glance
Venue Name The Orpheum Theatre Memphis
Location Memphis, TN
Address 203 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone # (901) 525-3000
Capacity 2,500
Opened 1928
Owner Orpheum Theatre Group

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