Memphis Orpheum Theatre

... the 1928 Opening Souvenir Program


In 1923, a fire broke out during a vaudeville show and the old Orpheum Theater burned to the ground.  Five years later, on the foundation of the old theater, a new Orpheum Theater was built at a then-staggering cost of $1.5 million. It was twice as large as the old theater, and much more ornate and luxurious, decorated in the style of Francois I.  Opening on November 19, 1928, the Memphis Orpheum was beyond anything the builders of the old opera house could have ever dreamed.   The auditorium, which seated 2500, was decorated in shades of gold, red and cream, and included a huge stage, orchestra pit, balcony and domed ceiling.  The grand lobby had twin staircases, enormous crystal chandeliers and gilded plasterwork.   It was, and is, a masterpiece.

This very rare 1928 Opening Night Souvenir Program is posted below in its entirety.  >


From the Collection of Dave French ... Click on small photos below to see a large photo...




1 2 3  4 5
9 1/8" x 12 1/8" Title Page Joseph P. Kennedy Marcus Heiman Keith-Albee-Orpheum Frederick Donaghey


7 8 9 10


Frederick Donaghey The Program The New Orpheum Orpheum-Memphis Palace - Chicago State Lake-Chicago

Note to Cinema Historians:  We also have high resolution scans of all the excellent Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circuit Theatre photos from this program.  Please contact us if you have the need for any of them.



13 14 15 16


Palace-NYC Hypodrome-NYC Memorial-Boston Albee-Brooklyn Riverside-Milwaukee St.Louis-St. Louis


19 20 21 22



Palace-Cleveland Orpheum - LA Hillstreet-LA Orpheum-Vancouver



25 26 27 28 29

Fordham - NYC

Keith-Portland Mainstreet-Kan City Orpheum-Omaha National-Louisville

Orpheum-New Orleans



31 32  33  34


Orpheum-San Fran Golden Gate - San Fran Keith's Wash DC Palace-South Bend Orpehum-Oakland In Appreciation


37 38 39 40


In Appreciation In Appreciation In Appreciation In Appreciation In Appreciation  


The Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circuit ...




Vaudeville Performers appearing at the New Orpheum's Inaugural Performance


Edna Miller

Homer B. Mason

Rae Samuels

Jay Velie

Corinne Griffith


The Gayle Sisters

Marguerite Keeler

Elsa Newell

Bill Newell

 "The Devil's Circus"



 Please visit the website that sponsors this page

   Historic Memphis Website




The Historic-Memphis website does not intentionally post copyrighted photos and material without permission or credit.  On occasion a "non-credited" photo might possibly be posted because we were unable to find a name to give credit.  Because of the nature of our non-commercial, non-profit, educational website, we strongly believe that these photos would be considered "Fair Use.  We have certainly made no monetary gain, although those using this website for historic or Genealogy research have certainly profited.  If by chance, we have posted your copyrighted photo, please contact us, and we'll remove it immediately, or we'll add your credit if that's your choice.  In the past, we have found that many photographers volunteer to have their works included on these pages and we'll  also do that if you contact us with a photo that fits a particular page. 


The "Historic-Memphis" website would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions which helped make this website possible:  Memphis Public Library, Memphis University Library, Memphis Law Library, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press Scimitar, Shelby County Register of Deeds, Memphis City Schools, Memphis Business Men's Club, Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis City Park Commission, Memphis Film Commision, Carnival Memphis, Memphis Historical Railroad Page, Memphis Heritage Inc, Beale Street Historic District, Cobblestone Historic District, Memphis Historic Districts, Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Tennessee State Archives, Library of Congress, Kemmons Wilson Family, Richard S. Brashier, Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Woody Savage and many individuals whose assistance is acknowledged on the pages of their contributions.  Special thanks to Memphis Realtor, Joe Spake, for giving us carte blanche access to his outstanding collection of contemporary Memphis photos.

We do not have high definition  copies of the photos on these pages.  If anyone wishes to secure high definition photos,  you'll have to contact the photographer  or the collector.  (To avoid any possibility of contributing to SPAM, we do not maintain a file of email addresses for anyone who contacts us).