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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Orpheum Theater

Rapp and Rapp, Architects

 

— 1925-1927 —

 
Orpheum Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, December 1, 2011
1. Orpheum Theater Marker
Inscription.  The Orpheum Theater is significant as the finest locally surviving theater from the movie palace era. Designed by preeminent theater architects Rapp and Rapp of Chicago, it features a distinctive Art Deco style façade. Its French Renaissance style interior features a lobby and foyer with terrazzo staircases, decorative plaster, and walnut paneling. The theater features brocade fabric on the walls and crystal chandeliers. The building is significant for its association with the movie palace era reflecting the entertainment preferences and popular culture of the early 20th century.

Designated December 01, 1998
 
Erected 2011 by the Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 138.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Art Deco, and the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is December 1, 1903.
 
Location. 43° 4.492′ N, 89° 23.333′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is on State Street, on the
Orpheum Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, December 1, 2011
2. Orpheum Theater Marker
The marker is under the movie poster display case to the left of the doors.
Click or scan to see
this page online
right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 State Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kessenich's Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Redeemer School Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Redeemer Catholic Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lamb Building (about 400 feet away); Schubert Building (about 500 feet away); Willett S. Main Building (about 500 feet away); Wootton - Mead House (about 600 feet away); Breese J. Stevens House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Orpheum Theater. According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, "The Orpheum Theater is the most intact and finest remaining example of the movie palace in Madison. It was one of the two grand movie palaces built in downtown Madison during the heyday of motion picture entertainment, the period of opulent theaters in which one movie mogul remarked 'we sell tickets to theaters, not movies.' Financed in part by dentist William Beecroft, also known locally as 'Mr. Theater,' it cost a whopping $750,000 to construct. Along with the Capitol Theater across the street, it was the venue for big name orchestras and stage stars, in addition to first run movies. Its French Renaissance interior
Orpheum Theater image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, December 1, 2011
3. Orpheum Theater
The theater is on the left, just two blocks off the Capitol Square.
made it one of the most beautiful public spaces in the city. The limestone exterior was built in the very fashionable Art Deco style, and the towering 'Orpheum' sign is a visual landmark in downtown Madison."
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for the theater. (Submitted on December 6, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
2. Madison Landmarks Commission. The landmark nomination form for the theater (pdf). (Submitted on December 7, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 
 
Additional keywords. Architecture
 
Orpheum Theater image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 25, 2016
4. Orpheum Theater
The recently added New Orpheum sign is a replica of the original.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 435 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 2, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on July 25, 2016, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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Jun. 18, 2021