Orpheum Theater

Location

409 S. 16th Street

Omaha, NE 68102

402.661.8501

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Performances

We are proud to offer diverse and inspiring performances every season. A detailed list and available dates are available on Ticket Omaha, our official ticket retailer.

SHOW SCHEDULE

Parking

Parking is available for the Orpheum Theater in the OPPD Energy Plaza garage. The Skylink takes you directly to the balcony level of the theater. Lot parking at 15th and Howard is available for $10. Meters run 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Accessibility

Omaha Performing Arts is committed to ensuring that our performances and facilities are accessible to everyone according to criteria established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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What's Inside

The Orpheum's many lobbies and gathering spaces capture unique moments in the theater's history. Eighty-five percent of all fixtures in the building including the furniture, metal grill work, draperies, marble and plaster sculpture are original and date back to 1927.


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Slosburg Hall
Slosburg Hall is the heart of the Orpheum – a 2,600-seat proscenium theater with magnificent French Renaissance glamour. The theater was named for Stanley Slosburg and his wife, the late Eleanor Slosburg, in 2005, for their generous support of the Orpheum throughout its renovations and upkeep.


BoxOffice_Orpheum_125x125Ticket Omaha Box Office Lobby
Added in the 1996 renovation, the lobby extends the glitz and glamour of the original 1927 Box Office. With gold elements, a trio of original Czech crystal chandeliers and decorative ironwork, this satellite location of the Ticket Omaha Box Office offers a full range of patron ticketing services 90 minutes before and during events.


LauritzenLobby_125x125Lauritzen Lobby
Patron services in this historic entrance hall range from bar service to Will Call. Added after the 1927 Grand Opening, this lobby is enhanced by French Renaissance elements a mirrored ballroom, elaborate metalwork disguising the air vents, chandeliers, and marble countertops installed in 1996.


GrandLobby_125x125Grand Lobby
Another elegant space from the 1927 theater, this area provides thorough access to Slosburg Hall, the main auditorium. French Renaissance decor includes barrel-vaulted ceilings, a trio of chandeliers, elaborate wrought iron railings, rose cavernett and red lavanti marble, sconces, crimson draperies, crystal chandeliers, gold leaf and ivory finishes, original terra cotta drinking fountains and more.


ExhibitionLobby_125x125Exhibition Lobby
Utilitarian ceiling tiles and lighting fixtures serve to remind patrons of this lobby's former life as part of City National Bank. This lobby was added in the 1989 renovation and provides even more convenient access to restrooms, concessions and Slosburg Hall.


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Anne Thorne Weaver Lounge

The Weaver Lounge offers private washrooms, coat check, complimentary drinks and more! Circles of Giving donors receive one single-occasion pass at the $1,200 level, and donors at the $6,000 level enjoy unlimited use. If you are interested in taking advantage of the Weaver Lounge, contact Development at Development@omahaperformingarts.org or 402.661.8455.


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The Skylink

The Orpheum Theater Skylink was added in 2004 for increased convenience and accessibility to the Orpheum. The 200-foot-long elevated, enclosed and climate-controlled walkway connects the OPPD Energy Plaza parking garage to the balcony level of the theater. 

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Event Rentals

The ornate splendor of Omaha's cherished Orpheum Theater provides the perfect backdrop for weddings, receptions, business meetings, fundraisers and more. All events at the Orpheum Theater are customized to satisfy the specific needs of each client. 

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Performance Rentals

The Orpheum Theater's Slosburg Hall makes every performance special. When you rent the Orpheum Theater, our team will work closely with you on every detail.

Product specifications
The following documents are password-protected. To acquire the password, please contact Kate Williams at 402.661.8573 or kwilliams@omahaperformingarts.com.

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Orpheum's History

Late 1800s – Before the theater

The Withnell Building, built by pioneer contractor John Withnell, served as headquarters for the U.S. Army's "Department of the Platte," stretching from Canada to Texas. In 1895, the Army headquarters moved to Fort Omaha near 30th and Fort streets, and the opportunity to develop Harney Street between 15th and 16th streets emerged.

1895 – The Creighton Theater

The first venue was called the Creighton Theater, named after "Count" John A. Creighton, and it seated more than 800. The Creighton Theater opened on August 22, 1895, with a drama, "The Masqueraders," by Charles Frohman's company. It was reported to have been "a gala social event, with a full house, especially in the saloon."

OrpheumHistory_1918_125x125Early 1900s – Omaha and the Orpheum Circuit

By 1898, there was a widening national recession, so the Creighton Theater was sold to the Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit.  The theater became The Creighton Orpheum, shortened to the Orpheum by 1906. Omaha was then in the company of eight other cities on vaudeville's Orpheum Circuit. Shows were held each day at 2:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Admission ranged from 10 cents for children or gallery seats to 50 cents for adult main floor seats in the evening.

1927 – The "New" Orpheum Theater

The owners of the original Orpheum lost two of their additional theaters in Omaha to a fire. Facing growing audience demand for vaudeville, they decided to replace their last standing theater — The Orpheum — with a new and larger building. This is the Orpheum Theater still standing today, built in 1927 for $2 million and constructed in 16 months. A Wurlitzer Style 235 Special pipe organ was installed for the first performance. The gala opening on Monday, October 10, was attended by nearly 3,000 people, including the Mayor of Omaha and the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben. The program was filled with "laughs, tricks, antics, dances, comics and all other things that go to make a happy evening." The “Fighting Eagle,” a motion picture starring former Omaha Central High student Rod La Rocque, was shown.

Orpheum History Movie MarqueeMid-20th Century – The Golden Palace and the Silver Screen

The Orpheum thrived for its first 20 years, but with the coming of motion pictures, vaudeville's popularity waned. Omaha's Orpheum transitioned into a movie house that gradually faced declining revenue, finally closing on April 29, 1971. It showed its last film to an empty house. The theater's Wurlitzer pipe organ's popularity had also changed. Designed to be played during silent movies and used in local broadcasts throughout the 1930s, the organ eventually fell into disrepair.

Early 1970s – Restoring a Cultural Treasure

By 1972, the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben purchased the Orpheum, to be used as a performing arts center for the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha and Ballet Omaha. An eleventh-hour crisis nearly killed the deal — until the Omaha Symphony Association purchased the lobby and gave it to the City of Omaha. Renovations included adding depth to the stage, new stage rigging, air conditioning, electrical and lighting upgrades, enlarging the orchestra pit, updating seats and carpeting, and restoration of the interior's original beauty.

1975 – The Grand Reopening of the Golden Palace

Comedian Red Skelton graced the stage for the Orpheum's grand reopening on January 17, 1975. Opera Omaha performed on the Orpheum stage for the first time that year, with soprano Beverly Sills in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

2001 and Beyond – Omaha Performing Arts takes over

The next evolution of the Orpheum Theater took place in 2001, when Omaha Performing Arts announced plans for a complete renovation of the Orpheum. In 2002, the City of Omaha granted Omaha Performing Arts a lease to manage the Orpheum Theater, and thanks to the generosity of private funders, the ornate splendor of this magnificent theater was enhanced to better serve patrons and artists. Improvements included refurbished seats, a new stage that could accommodate the largest productions, new dressing rooms, a heating and cooling system and improved acoustics. Since then, additional improvements have been made by Omaha Performing Arts, including the Skylink between the theater and the parking garage, a new elevator as well was an additional loading dock and women's restrooms, a beautiful patron room — the Anne Thorne Weaver Lounge, new rigging and a new amplified sound system.

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