Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia is a popular venue used by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The exterior is unremarkable except for its large neon sign typical of the surrounding Granville Street businesses. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE: www.venturevancouver.com

One of the Orpheum Theatre's most notable attributes is its large neon sign typical of its Granville Street locale.





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Opened in 1927, the Orpheum Theatre designed by Scottish architect Marcus Priteca was Vancouver's crown jewel with its luxurious interior and popular shows, a place for visitors to relax and enjoy Vaudeville entertainment. However, the age of vaudeville soon disappeared, and with change, the Orpheum was transformed into a movie theatre, a popular venue for many movie goers. With modernization and construction of newer, larger theatres, it was soon apparent that the Orpheum would no longer be suitable and plans to tear the building down were made in the 1970s. The public - charmed by the elegance and history of the building - fought to have the Orpheum protected and with the governments help secured the ownership and undertook extensive restoration projects to glamorize it once more. The current Orpheum that stands on Granville Street today is home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, continuing the site's tradition of bringing entertainment, music and historic beauty to the city for decades to come.

Part of famous south Granville Street, the Orpheum has been a symbol of the active night life that has brightened this Vancouver street for years.

Opened in 1927 as a vaudeville house, it was the largest and most luxurious theatre in the West Coast, featuring a number of acts and shows, thrilling the public until the late 1930s when it then became a movie house under the Famous Players brand. Bought by the city of Vancouver in 1974 to save it from being gutted, the Orpheum was given a much needed restoration to bring it back to its former glory and it reopened in April of 1977 as the permanent home for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

It is very hard to distinguish the Orpheum from the dozens of buildings that litter lower Granville Street because it appears unassuming during the day, but at night, the street is alive with vibrant neon signs, the Orpheum's non-withstanding.

Plush red, ivory, moss and gold decorative features, ornate furniture and an older style box office are some of the touches that continue to show the colourful past of this building. There are over two thousand, five hundred seats for patrons within the theatre as well as several balconies for music and theatre lovers alike.

As the Orpheum has been classified a National Historic Site, it will continue to be a part of the popular Granville district and a Mecca for Vancouverites seeking classical, jazz, pop and other forms of music in the metropolitan area.

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Photo and Image Gallery

The Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Vancouver was once a thriving hub of social activity. With changing times, the Orpheum has now become the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
A Mosaic along Smithe Street depicting Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre in the 1930 - 1940s when it was the place to catch some of the finest entertainment in the city.

Location of Orpheum Theatre

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Orpheum Theatre

Located North of Smithe St., South from Robson St.
884 Granville Street
Located just west of Smithe Street.

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