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Orpheum Theatre: vintage auditorium views

842 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014 | map |

The Orpheum Theatre pages:  history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | booth | backstage | lofts

A peek in along the house right side of the main floor. The 1926 photo appears in "American Theatres of Today" by R.W. Sexton and B. F. Betts. The two volumes of the book were published in 1927 and 1930 by the Architectural Book Publishing Co, New York. It was reprinted in one volume in 1977 by the Vestal Press, New York. Thanks to Mike Hume for including a pdf of the four pages of Orpheum material from the book on his Historic Theatre Photography page about the theatre. 

A 1926 view to the rear of the main floor from "American Theatres of Today." 

A 1926 balcony view from "American Theatres of Today." A version of the photo is also in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. 

Thanks to Mason P. Martinez for this early view of the house right organ grille area. It was a post on the Facebook page Historical Pictures of Los Angeles

A perhaps early 50s look at the proscenium from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.

A view to the balcony from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Note that RCA TV projector in the cutout in the balcony rail.  

A perhaps early 50s look across from the house right box. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo. 

Christine Jorgensen on the stage in 1953 narrating a travelog she made in Denmark. Thanks to Steven Otto for finding the shot for a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

Thanks to the Orpheum for this mysterious view. It's from the 60s or later -- look at the type of speakers atop the proscenium. The photo is one of many great views on the Orpheum website's Gallery page.

A look up from the main floor, perhaps in the 1980s. The photographer is unknown.

A fine view across the balcony in the theatre's film house days. Note the drapery treatment in the balcony sidewall arches. Photographer and date are unknown.

A c.1990 photo of the auditorium from Berger Conser Architectural Photography from Anne Conser and Robert Berger's great book "The Last Remaining Seats: Movie Palaces of Tinseltown." It's available on Amazon. The photo is included on the Robert Berger Photography website in a portfolio of sixteen photos from "The Last Remaining Seats."

A view from house right. Photo: Berger Conser Architectural Photography - c.1990. Among many other places, the photo has appeared on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.

A great shot toward the rear of the auditorium when the Orpheum was still running as a film house. Thanks to Bill Gabel for his photo, a contribution to the Cinema Treasures page about the Orpheum.

Hiroshi Sugimoto's theatre series resulted from a question he asked: "Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision."

We don't know what film Sugimoto saw at the Orpheum in 1993 but this was the result. A number of his photos of theatre auditoria appear on a Sugimoto Portfolio: Movie Theatres page from C4 Contemporary Art. Several images from the theatres series appear on a page of the Hiroshi Sugimoto website. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting this one.

A look down from the top. Note the new treatment in the balcony sidewall arches. Photo: Berger Conser Architectural Photography - c.2000. Thanks, Robert and Anne! The photo makes an appearance as part of a 2015 Curbed photo portfolio assembled by Patrick Sisson: "Touring Historic Theaters Across the U.S." There it's credited to the National Trust. Ha!

The Orpheum closed as a film house in 2000. The operator was Metropolitan Theatres, who had been running it since September 1933. RKO had closed the theatre at the end of 1932.

The Orpheum Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobbies and lounges | back to top - vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | booth | backstage | lofts

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