The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1926 in Downtown’s Broadway Theater District, then home to the largest number of movie palaces in the United States. Named after the Greek god Orpheus, the theater was the fourth and last built by the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. Early productions featured a young Judy Garland as well as the Marx Brothers, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and many other stars of stage, screen and song. Theater architect G. Albert Lansburgh designed the Orpheum’s Beaux Arts facade, and inside, there’s still a 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer organ, one of three remaining pipe organs in Southern California venues. Owner Steve Needleman recently spent more than $3 million to renovate the space, investing another $4 million to build 37 lofts above the theater. The auditorium accommodates more than 2,000 people, and the white-marble lobby and wood-paneled lounge are elegant reminders of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Today, the Orpheum continues to host seminars, private events. awards shows, film shoots, and concerts, including a two-night blowout with Yoko Ono and friends. 842 S. Broadway, dwntwn. (213) 538-3831, —Tanja M. Laden

LA Weekly