Orpheum and State Theatres 90th Birthday Celebration

by Martina Marosi


When: Sat., Oct. 1, 4:00pm

Where: Orpheum Theatre & State Theatre (910 Hennepin Avenue)

Cost: Free!

Minneapolis gems Orpheum and State Theatres turn 90 today, and they’re inviting anyone who will show up. The State, originally a movie house, hosted silent features and was referred to by one Minneapolis columnist as a “guilded pleasure palace.” The Orpheum, which got its legs as “The Hennepin Theatre,” was the nation’s biggest vaudeville theater at the time. The Marx Brothers played in the opening week to audiences that totaled over 70,000. That must have been before Karl defected.

The event will feature a historical tour through the Theatres’ glory days and may or may not include drunken crying over squandered potential. The most promising feature is a treasure hunt (pack your magnifying glass and you might find the skeleton of the old piano player who is rumored to have cursed the theaters back in aught six – “You know NOTHING about good ol’ ragtime music, you hear me?! NOTHING!”) There will also be the requisite juggling act, a dixieland band and some fledgling vaudeville acts (still trying to make a living after all these years). 1920’s era refreshments will be served- you figure that one out.