Clio Logo

Now called the Mississippi Lofts and Adler Theatre building, this historic structure used to be named the Hotel Mississippi-RKO Orpheum Theater. Chicago architect A.S. Graven designed it in the Art Deco style and it opened in 1931. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 for its architecture and importance to the city's commercial activity. It was the largest apartment residence and theater built before World War II in Davenport.


  • The Mississippi Lofts and Adler Theatre building was constructed in 1931.

The idea for the building originated from a group of Chicago developers who wanted to build a vaudeville house leased to the Orpheum Circuit, which was a national theater chain. They started to negotiate with longtime Davenport developer George M. Bechtel, who owned a successful bond company, in 1926 but eventually these plans fell through. Undeterred, Bechtel, who liked the idea, made a deal with with the successor to the Orpheum Circuit—the the Radio-Keith Orpheum Circuit (RKO) of New York City—in 1930 to build a combined hotel/theater complex. 

The hotel opened in eleven months and featured 200 hotel rooms and 50 apartments. Retail space was located on the first floor. Unfortunately, it was built at the beginning of the Great Depression so in the end the hotel was not successful. Despite this, the building operated as a hotel under different owners until the mid-1980s. The hotel was renovated from 2004 - 2007 into apartments. 

As for the theater, when it opened it featured state-of-the-art equipment and a large stage capable of handling any vaudeville act, performance, or Broadway show. It had 2,700 seats, which made it the largest theater in the state at the time.

Eventually, the theater began to show movies as well. RKO owned the theater until 1978. By this time, the theater had fallen into a state of disrepair and was not often used (the last movie shown occurred in 1973). In 1981, the Davenport Chamber of Commerce bought the building and sold it to a non-profit called he RiverCenter For The Performing Arts, which raised funds to restore the theater and operate its programming. Renovations were completed in 1983 and the theater's name was changed to the current one. Another round of renovations took place in the mid-2000s (at the same time as the hotel was being renovated).

"About the Adler Theatre." Adler Theatre. Accessed March 19, 2019.  http://www.adlertheatre.com/about-the-adler.

Svendsen, Marlys A. "Hotel Mississippi/RKO Orpheum Theater." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 22, 1998.  https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/cd146d2d-990e-446e-89bf-1bab568f38a8.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Hotel_Mississippi-RKO_Orpheum_Theater