The Ultimate Guide to Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis: Events, Tickets and More!

Step into the enchanting world of Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis, a historical gem that has captivated audiences for over a century. With its rich history, architectural beauty, and diverse lineup of events, the theatre offers an unforgettable experience for visitors and locals alike. Let us embark on a journey through time as we uncover the secrets of this cherished venue.

Key Takeaways

A Brief History of Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis

orpheum theatre minneapolis

Nestled in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the Orpheum Theatre first opened its doors in 1921, captivating audiences with its Beaux-Arts style and opulent interior. Originally designed by the Milwaukee firm, the theatre became a part of the vibrant downtown Minneapolis theatre scene, hosting a variety of performances that showcased the best of live entertainment.

Over the years, this magnificent venue has evolved to accommodate elaborate Broadway productions, concerts, and special events. It has even been owned by legendary singer Bob Dylan and his brother, David Zimmerman, from 1979 to 1988. The Orpheum Theatre has truly stood the test of time, with its rich history and architectural grandeur serving as a theatre centerpiece in the Hennepin Theatre District.

The Early Years

During its formative years, the Orpheum Theatre hosted numerous vaudeville acts, inaugurated by a performance from the Four Marx Brothers in 1921. The theatre’s reputation grew, drawing famous performers such as Jack Benny and musical acts like INXS and R.E.M. Over time, the stage and facilities were expanded to host elaborate Broadway productions, securing its continued relevance and success.

As the 1930s and 1940s rolled around, vaudeville began to decline, and the Orpheum Theatre found new life as one of Minneapolis’s major cinema houses, showcasing popular films of the time. Throughout its development, the theatre has remained a significant venue for live entertainment and a testament to the enduring charm of the performing arts.

Vaudeville and Big Bands

During the big band era, the Orpheum Theatre became a major outlet for live entertainment, hosting big bands and iconic performers that drew crowds from far and wide. Such entertainers as Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Count Basie graced the Orpheum stage, captivating audiences with their unforgettable performances.

Despite the decline of vaudeville, the Orpheum Theatre remained a focal point for entertainment in Minneapolis, adapting to the changing times and continuing to provide a stage for the best in live performance.

Today, the theatre’s legacy lives on, as it continues to showcase a variety of acts and events that delight and inspire audiences.

1993 Renovation: A New Era for Orpheum Theatre

orpheum theatre history

The Orpheum Theatre embarked on a new chapter in 1993, undergoing a $10 million renovation. Assisted by the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, the theatre was upgraded into a technologically advanced venue that could host complex Broadway productions while maintaining its historical appeal.

This ambitious renovation project not only revitalized the Orpheum Theatre but also led to some unexpected architectural discoveries. As the renovation progressed, a hidden terra cotta wall with sculptural reliefs was uncovered, prompting a change in plans for the theatre’s aesthetic improvements. The theatre painstakingly removed brick by brick, revealing the Orpheum featured discovery that added to the theatre’s unique charm and historical significance.

Expanding the Stage and Facilities

The 1993 remodeling led to a 20-foot expansion of the Orpheum stage, accommodating larger productions with complex sets and props. The enhancement extended to new dressing rooms and backstage areas, offering more space for performers and improving their overall experience. These improvements allowed the theatre to attract a broader range of performances, offering a higher quality experience for both performers and audience members.

Along with the expanded stage and facilities, the renovation also focused on making the theatre handicap accessible. Although specific measures implemented are not recorded, it is clear that the renovation aimed to create a more inclusive and accommodating space for all patrons.

Architectural Discoveries

During the renovation, a hidden terra cotta wall with sculptural reliefs was discovered behind plain walls in the vestibule. This wall, 85 percent intact, showcased the intricate craftsmanship of the period and significantly added to the historical and architectural value of the building. The architectural team painstakingly removed brick and other materials to reveal the wall and its stunning ornamentation.

The discovery of the terra cotta wall did not alter the renovation plans for the Orpheum Theatre. Instead, it enriched the theatre’s aesthetic and historical appeal, further solidifying its status as a cherished gem in the heart of Minneapolis.

Blockbuster Broadway Productions

orpheum theatre musical

The Orpheum Theatre is renowned for hosting blockbuster Broadway productions, including pre-Broadway world premieres and national tour premieres. Throughout its history, the theatre has been graced by the likes of Disney’s The Lion King, Sweet Charity, and Victor/Victoria.

These premieres not only attract audiences and generate excitement but also provide invaluable opportunities for theatre producers and creatives to assess and enhance their productions before they hit the Great White Way. As a result, the Orpheum Theatre continues to be a sought-after venue for premieres, drawing in investors, sponsors, and spectators who are eager to witness the next big hit.

Pre-Broadway World Premieres

Pre-Broadway world premieres are a unique aspect of the theatre world, providing a platform for productions to be displayed and polished before their Broadway debut. The Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis has a rich tradition of hosting these pre Broadway world premiere events, making it a go-to destination for top-tier productions and a wide array of performances and events.

Notable productions that have had their pre-Broadway world premieres at Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis include Disney’s The Lion King, Sweet Charity, and Victor/Victoria. These premieres not only garner attention and anticipation but also highlight the theatre’s commitment to providing a distinguished and venerable venue for world-class entertainment.

National Tour Premieres

Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis often serves as the launchpad for national tour premieres of celebrated Broadway shows. This esteemed recognition not only highlights the theatre’s stature in the performing arts realm but also enables productions to captivate new audiences and stir enthusiasm nationwide.

One particularly noteworthy moment was the national tour premiere of ‘Girl From The North Country’ at Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis. The acclaimed musical, described as a ‘Broadway revelation,’ began its North American tour at the Orpheum, a theatre once owned by the legendary Bob Dylan. This wonderful world tour has captivated audiences everywhere.

Upcoming Events at Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre’s upcoming events feature a diverse mix of Broadway hits, concerts, and special performances. With something for everyone, the theatre continues to be a hub of entertainment and culture among downtown Minneapolis theatres.

Among the upcoming Broadway productions are Girl From The North Country, Company, Disney’s Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Funny Girl, Mamma Mia!, and Clue. In addition, concertgoers can look forward to performances by Michael W. Smith and various Broadway musicals such as Clue – The Musical, The Lion King, and MJ The Musical, all part of an exciting broadway production lineup.

Broadway Hits

Audiences can expect a thrilling lineup of Broadway productions at the Orpheum Theatre, including timeless hits like “Wicked,” “Les Miserables,” and “Mamma Mia!”. These productions have captivated audiences worldwide, and their arrival at the Orpheum Theatre is a testament to the venue’s commitment to bringing the best of Broadway to Minneapolis.

Each of these touring productions boasts a unique allure, from the enchanting story of “Wicked” to the heart-wrenching tale of “Les Miserables,” the feel-good, toe-tapping music of “Mamma Mia!,” and the captivating charm of a magical Christmas ballet. As these Broadway sensations grace the Orpheum stage, theatre lovers will be treated to a memorable experience that showcases the magic of live performance.

Concerts and Special Performances

In addition to Broadway productions, the Orpheum Theatre also plays host to a variety of concerts and special performances. Upcoming events include:

These concerts and special performances not only highlight the diverse range of entertainment options available at the Orpheum Theatre but also demonstrate the venue’s commitment to providing a platform for both established and emerging talents. No matter the event, the Orpheum Theatre continues to delight audiences with its captivating lineup of world-class entertainment.

Visiting Orpheum Theatre: Tips and Tricks

When contemplating a visit to Orpheum Theatre, consider a few practical suggestions to guarantee a seamless and enjoyable experience. Arriving early provides sufficient time for parking, seat finding, and soaking in the theatre’s historical allure. Additionally, consider downloading the Orpheum Theatre app for easy access to show information, seating charts, and more.

Before a performance, acquaint yourself with the theatre’s seating plan and accessibility features for a comfortable experience. Ensure you buy tickets from the theatre’s official website or authorized sellers to steer clear of fraud and overpriced tickets. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable night at the Orpheum Theatre.

Buying Tickets

To purchase tickets for Orpheum Theatre performances, it is recommended to use the theatre’s official website or authorized ticket sellers such as Buying tickets through these official sources ensures their validity and helps you avoid potential scams or counterfeit tickets.

When purchasing tickets online, be cautious of common scams such as:

Additionally, be wary of excessively high prices on secondary websites and always verify that the seats being sold are consistent with the venue’s seating plan. By following these guidelines, you can protect yourself from scams and ensure a hassle-free ticket-buying experience.

Seating and Accessibility

orpheum theatre seating map

The Orpheum Theatre offers a variety of seating options, including the Main Floor, Balcony, and multiple sections within each area. To better understand the layout and select the best seats for your needs, consult the Orpheum Theatre seating chart on the Hennepin Theatre Trust website.

For guests with disabilities, the theatre provides:

Getting acquainted with the theatre’s seating plan and accessibility features guarantees a convenient and enjoyable visit to the Orpheum Theatre.


The Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis stands as a testament to the enduring power of live performance, boasting a rich history, stunning architecture, and a diverse lineup of events. From its early days as a vaudeville house to its transformation into a state-of-the-art venue for blockbuster Broadway productions, the Orpheum Theatre continues to captivate audiences and enrich the cultural landscape of Minneapolis. So, whether you’re a theatre aficionado or simply looking for a memorable night out, the Orpheum Theatre promises an unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called the Orpheum Theater?

Named after the Greek mythological figure Orpheus, the Orpheum Theatre opened in 1926 as the fourth Los Angeles venue on the Orpheum circuit and the second Orpheum Theatre built on Broadway. The theatre is also home to a 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer organ still in use today.

Who owns the Orpheum in Minneapolis?

The Hennepin Theatre Trust owns and operates the iconic Orpheum in Minneapolis, having produced world premieres of shows such as Victor/Victoria, The Lion King and AIDA.

What is the seating capacity of Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis?

The Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis has a seating capacity of 2,579 people.

How can I purchase tickets for Orpheum Theatre performances?

You can purchase tickets for Orpheum Theatre performances through the theatre’s official website or authorized ticket sellers such as

What types of performances can I expect at the Orpheum Theatre?

Experience a range of entertainment at the Orpheum Theatre, from Broadway productions to concerts and special events.