Status: Preserved

Address: 197 South Main Street, Memphis

Built: 1927-28

Architectural Style: Italian Renaissance

Original Function/Purpose: Entertainment

The Orpheum Theatre was placed on the National Register on Aug. 15, 1977.

History: At the time the finest and most elegant theater outside of New York City, Memphis’s Grand Opera House was purchased by the Orpheum Theater Vaudeville Circuit in 1907 but subsequently burned to the ground in 1923. At nearly twice the size of the original building, the present structure was built in 1928 and featured movies and live performances by top acts. In 1940 the structure served as a Malco movie theater but today it is again one of the best live venues in Memphis. The theater hosts Broadway shows, live concerts and original Memphis-created shows. In 2018 the City of Memphis designated this property as a site on the Memphis Heritage Trail. In late 2020 the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, “the voice of the Orpheum,” returned after a $500,000 repair and refurbishment; one organist reported it was better than it was in 1928. 

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8