Wednesday, August 01, 2007

And now, on with the show

I wonder how many times that famous movie phrase has been spoken in this wonderful old movie theater. This is the Orpheum Theater, it was built in downtown Wichita at a cost of $750,000.00 and opened in 1922. I attended the new release of Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, at this theater (1964). It was great fun just being in this theater, they don't make 'em like this anymore. I don't remember the cost of seeing the movie, but I do remember they gave a discount to students, seems like it cost about 50 cents. Popcorn was probably about 10 cents and it wasn't uncommon to see some being tossed towards the ground level seats from kids having fun in the balcony.
There came a time when, the Orpheum sat empty and unattended, becoming run down. Eventually a group of Wichitans decided to renovate it, and bring it back to life. If you are interested in old movie theaters, there's an excellent website about it, just look for the link in my sidebar titled Orpheum Theater. The website has an online video telling history of this old building - and the renovation (it's really interesting). The video shows pictures of the inside, plus there are articles and photos that can be viewed, and listings of upcoming performances and shows.


Annie said...

Want a quick reference for our age differences?

On my honeymoon I went to see, with my new husband, The Sound of Music.

Only we weren't at the Orpheum.

dot said...

It reminds me of a theater I used to go to when I was a kid in Mobile, Alabama. I saw my first Elvis movie there.

annulla said...

Looks like a great place; glad to hear they decided to save it. Around here, many old movie palaces were demolished, others left to rot, one made into a gymnasium and another converted to a supermarket. Sad ends for once-specacular buildings.

By the way, if you are a Mary Poppins fan, you might want to see the photos I took a couple of days ago at a performance featuring stars of the new Mary Poppins on Broadway. It was wonderful to hear them singing "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Couldn't help joining in.

Blather From Brooklyn