Orpheum Theatre (Omaha)

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Orpheum Theater
The former steel-letter marquee at Omaha's Orpheum Theater was replaced by a digital marquee in 2013
Address 409 S 16th St.
Omaha, Nebraska
United States
Owner Omaha Performing Arts
Capacity 2,600
Screens 1
Current use Performing arts center
Opened 1927


Orpheum Theater
Orpheum Theatre (Omaha) is located in Nebraska
Orpheum Theatre (Omaha)
Orpheum Theatre (Omaha) is located in the US
Orpheum Theatre (Omaha)
Coordinates 41°15′22.74″N 95°56′10.3″W / 41.2563167°N 95.936194°W / 41.2563167; -95.936194Coordinates: 41°15′22.74″N 95°56′10.3″W / 41.2563167°N 95.936194°W / 41.2563167; -95.936194
Built 1895, 1927 Current Orpheum Theater
Architect Holabird & Roche; Lawrie, Harry
Architectural style Italianate
MPS Opera House Buildings in Nebraska 1867-1917 MPS (AD)
NRHP Reference # 73001061[1]
Added to NRHP March 26, 1973

The Orpheum Theater is located at 409 South 16th Street in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. The Orpheum hosts programs best served by a more theatrical setting, including the Omaha Performing Arts Broadway Season, presented with Broadway Across America, and Opera Omaha's season. The theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The current site of the Omaha Orpheum Theatre was previously home to the Creighton Theater.[2] John A. McShane organized a stock company to build the original theater in 1895.[2] The architects for the original theater were Fisher & Lawrie and the general contractors were Rocheford & Gould.[2] Paxton and Vierling installed the iron curtain that weighed 11 tons.[2] The theater was named after John A. Creighton, a local philanthropist, and a large portrait of Count Creighton decorated the proscenium arch.[2] The Creighton Theater was eventually added to the Orpheum Circuit, which by 1900 had expanded to nine western cities: Omaha, Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.[2] The reference to Creighton was eventually dropped from the theater's name.

Orpheum Entrance with Skylink above

By 1926 a new, larger theater was in the works.[2] The current 2,600-seat proscenium theater was built in 1927 on the same site as the original Creighton Theater,[2] but with its entrance situated on 16th Street.

When vaudeville acts were no longer in fashion, a screen was added and the theater operated as a downtown movie theater from the 1940s through 1975, when it received a $2 million renovation and became a performing arts venue once again.[3]

In 2002, Omaha Performing Arts assumed management of the Orpheum Theater from the City of Omaha, and the Orpheum underwent a $10 million renovation, making it capable of accommodating larger and more complicated scenery and sets.[4]

The Orpheum Theater Skylink was added in 2004 for increased convenience and accessibility to the Orpheum. The 200-foot-long elevated, enclosed and climate-controlled walkway connects the OPPD parking garage to the Orpheum Theater.

In October 2013, the steel-letter marquee that was installed with the 1975 renovation was replaced with a digital electronic display board.[5] The signage upgrades also included the installation of LED posters in the theater's lobby.[5]

The Orpheum Theater continues to be one of Omaha's most popular performing arts venues.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Orpheum Theater". The Omaha World-Herald Newspaper. Omaha, Douglas County, NE, USA. March 28, 1974. 
  3. ^ "Orpheum Theater". CinemaTreasures.org. Retrieved Sept 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "Omaha's Orpheum Theater". Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Fischbach, Bob (October 10, 2013). "Orpheum Theater Marquee: Metal letters out; pictures, colors, motion in". The Omaha World-Herald Newspaper, Omaha, Douglas County, NE, USA. 

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