Also known as RKO Orpheum, it
was esigned by G. Albert Lansburgh, built in 1918, and opened
for vaudeville in 1921. The Beaux Arts style building has 1800
seats. Soon after opening it became a movie house. In 1979,
the Orpheum was scheduled for demolition but was rescued and
underwent a $3 million renovation. It reopened in 1989 as home
to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, whose musicians prize the
auditorium for its acoustical purity. The theater is an
example of "vertical hall" construction, initially built to
provide perfect sight lines and acoustics for vaudeville shows
which didn't have the benefit of amplifiers or modern
lighting. It was listed on the National Register of Historic
Places in 1982.
The Orpheum Theatre was severely damaged
by Hurricane Katrina floodwaters and sold to a Dallas businessman who
plans to restore it.