The Orpheum opened in 1922 and is historically significant as one of the first "atmospheric" theaters built in the country (in atmospheric theaters the auditorium ceiling is curved and decorated in such a way that it gives the illusion of an open evening sky). The interior was designed to mirror a Spanish courtyard. The theater's history followed the decline of urban downtowns as places of entertainment, losing business to suburban theaters that had less overhead and maintenance costs. Volunteers saved the theater from the wrecking ball in 1983 and began the process of restoring the historic theater. Today, the theater once again hosts some of the leading national acts and is one of the premiere attractions in central Kansas. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Backstory and Context
Julie A. Wortman & Dale Nimz. "Orpheum Theater and Office Building." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. November 28, 1980. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/2118e15f-e6ba-4173-85c0-cf2e118b6cae.