Orpheum Theatre Information
Orpheum Theatre, located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, is one of four restored theaters on Hennepin Avenue. It, along with the Pantages Theatre, the State Theatre and the Shubert Theatre (now The Cowles Center) are part of a major entertainment coalition in the area.
The theater currently seats 2,600 guests with 1,500 on the main floor and 1,100 on the three level balcony. Orpheum Theatre, located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, is one of four restored theaters on Hennepin Avenue.
Preshow drinks before every Broadway performance. Located in the event center at The Hennepin (next door to the Orpheum Theatre), the Jack Link’s Legend Lounge is the perfect place to grab a drink and meet friends before seeing a show. Open to the public 90 minutes before every performance and through intermission, the lounge sells beer, wine, cocktails and snacks.
Orpheum Theatre History
The Orpheum Theatre started life as the Hennepin Theater in the early 1920’s. Since then it has been a famous hotspot of cultural entertainment for all in Minneapolis. The theatre has had a rich history.
The original Orpheum opened on October 16, 1921. At the time, it was known as Hennepin Theater and consisted of two separate structures; a long lobby extending back from a narrow facade along Hennepin Avenue, and the Auditorium which was set back and parallels Hawthorne Avenue. The restored lobby now includes six terra cotta bas relief sculptures, while the auditorium is plastered with garlands, swags, medallions, and other similar decorations. The ceiling is also known for a dome with 30,000 squares of aluminum leaves.
The theatre originally opened as a vaudeville theatre; vaudeville being an early type of theatrical comedy with European influence. After a decade of much success hosting this genre, the demand for vaudeville theatre declined and the Orpheum Theatre transitioned into a cinema house. Since it opened, the building has hosted several major concerts and musicals including Victor/Victoria, The Lion King, and The 101 Dalmatians Musical that all premiered at the venue.
In 1959 a new owner, Ted Mann purchased the theatre and started to transform it into the theatre you know today. Huge touring productions were introduced to the theatre, such as My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof. Productions that still to this day continue to be shown across the country.
In 1988 none other than Bob Dylan and his brother David Zimmerman purchased the theatre. Under their instruction, in 1993 the building underwent a big renovation to expand the stage and improve guest facilities along with making the theatre handicap accessible.
As of 1988, the venue was sold by Bob Dylan, who owned it from 1979 to 1988, to the City of Minneapolis. After this, the building was renovated and reopened in 1993. Then the city transferred ownership of the theater to the Hennepin Theatre Trust in 2005.
Hennepin Theatre Trust
This website is not affiliated with the Hennepin Theatre Trust. If you wish to find out more on this cultural organization you can visit their website here: hennepintheatretrust.org
The Orpheum Theatre is situated on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. It is one of four theatres on this well known downtown entertainment district that is owned by the Hennepin Theatre Trust. The Hennepin Theatre Trust is a non-profit setup in 2000 and has been critical in maintaining the Hennepin Avenue theatres and bringing you the iconic shows and entertainment loved by Minneapolis.
The Hennepin Theatre Trust was established in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to assume responsibility for and guarantee the future of the State, Orpheum and Pantages theatres along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. These theaters were either in need of repairs or were threatened with demolition. But the city sought to preserve them and keep them as historic places and places for live entertainment. In 2005, the Trust executed a long-term financing arrangement with the City of Minneapolis to transition ownership of these three theatres from the City to the Trust.
Today, Hennepin Theatre Trust continues to operate, preserve and program these historic theatres. The trust creates a brighter future for these venues, keeping them up to date, well-maintained, and serving the community with enriching entertainment, commercial concerts, and plenty of timeless and unforgettable fun. The venue works with major Broadway organizations to bring big Broadway hits to Minneapolis and with other agencies to make sure that the stage is always hosting top-shelf performances all year round.
To date the Orpheum Theatre has been the home of Broadway musicals in Minneapolis. With touring his productions shown throughout the year.
Starting with My Fair Lady in the 1960’s, the theatre has been a constant source of hit musical productions. Products such as; Hamilton, Frozen, Come from Away, Anastasia, The Bands Visit, The Book of Mormon, Phantom of the Opera and much, much more.
Check out the upcoming events page to see what exciting new Broadway musicals will be coming to the Orpheums stage.
What’s the theatre like
The Orpheum – Minnesota is undeniably an incredible viewing experience. It’s stage sees some of the hottest shows all year round, from Broadway hits, touring productions, and live concerts. It’s also used for a variety of community oriented festivals, recitals, and demonstrations that adds a much desired flair and culture to the city.
As you can guess, this makes the viewing audience some of the most relaxed and welcoming audiences in the world. Minneapolis is already a popular city and its incredible variety of performances showcases a love of arts and entertainment that you can’t find anywhere else.
The staff is also some of the most friendly and upbeat in the world. Especially during the pre-show drink offered nearby during major Broadway productions.
In other words, you’re likely to walk away with a smile at The Orpheum.