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Looking Back to a Bright Future

May 31st marks the end of our fiscal year. One of our goals for this past year has been to create events that would bring new audiences to the Theatre; events that would be out of the ordinary, with the dual purpose of providing “The Orpheum Experience” and at the same time generating funds for the Friends.

To that end, here are a few of the “unique” events:

October – in conjunction with the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society, we brought in over 250 students to the Theatre to see “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”, a silent film starring John Barrymore, with musical accompaniment supplied by the Theatre’s mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Later that month, we were in high spirits as we had four nights of Ghost Tours, five tours per night, almost all sold out. (Ghost Tours made another appearance on March 11, when all 3 tours were sold out.)

November – in another first for the Orpheum, there were two book-signings – Rainn Wilson (from TV’s “The Office”) and Isabel Allende – which drew a combined audience of over 1,100.

January-April – in another first, we held a series of free jazz concerts in “the intimate Lobby Lounge” of the Theatre. These concerts featured Judy Roberts and Nicole Pesce (piano), Greg Fishman and Jerry Donato (sax) and Renee Patrick (vocals). We averaged 93 people per concert. Then in May, three members of the Phoenix Symphony performed a concert of classical music.

In addition to the volunteers that helped out at our various events, the Friends want to thank the following people and organizations for their support during the year: Joe Atredies (Ghost Tours); Bill Brown LLC, Treasury Assist LLC, Discount Tire, Aventura Catering, and the Phoenix Symphony, for their sponsorship of the jazz and classical concerts; and Luis Ruiz and Patty Dunlap of the City of Phoenix for their ongoing support of our efforts.

The Orpheum will be closed for the Summer (June 20-August 31) to allow the City to perform maintenance work. The major project for this summer involves replacing the carpeting. The pattern on the main and mezzanine floors will be similar to the current pattern, but the carpeting in the lower lobby will be different. New carpeting, and new furniture (courtesy of FOTOT), will also be installed in the Green Room.

We are eagerly anticipating the upcoming season. We expect to have a school show featuring a silent film, ghost tours, as well as a broad range of musical performances. And we are planning a Gala in January, celebrating the 88th Anniversary of the 1929 opening, and particularly the 20th Anniversary of the Orpheum’s 1997 re-opening.

(The next issue of the Newsletter will be released in August.)


What's Coming Up at the Orpheum - Now & Then


May 1 - Phoenix Youth Symphony Season Finale 3:00

May 10 - Free Public Tours Noon & 1:00

May 10 - Classical Music @ the Orpheum 5:00

May 20 - Dance Motion: “Let’s Go To The Movies”

& “The Show Must Go On” 7:00

May 21 - Dance Motion (Same as above) 2:00

May 22 - Adage Dance Studios Spring Recital 4:00

May 24 - Free Public Tours Noon & 1:00

June 1 - Arizona School for the Arts – Showcase 2016 7:00

June 2 - Arizona School for the Arts – Showcase 2016 7:00

June 5 - Arizona Sports Awards 6:00

June 15 - Los Secretos de Santa Monica 7:30

June 16 - Los Secretos de Santa Monica 7:30

June 17 - Los Secretos de Santa Monica 7:30

June 18 - Los Secretos de Santa Monica 2:00 & 7:30

June 19 - Los Secretos de Santa Monica 4:00


April 26, 1933

Already famous to moviegoers, Claudette Colbert appeared in-person at the Orpheum, along with Gene Tunney (former Heavyweight Champion), Paul Lucas, and a number of local performers, in “Phoenix on Parade”, a benefit for Brophy College.


Support the Friends

Attention Fry’s Shoppers – Donate to the Friends every time you shop at Fry’s, and it’s free. Fry’s is donating $2 million a year ($500,000/quarter) to Arizona non-profits. To participate, go to and register your Fry’s VIP card, and select Friends of the Orpheum Theatre as your non-profit of choice. Remember: your donation is free, and this program is separate from the gas program. Last year, the Friends received nearly $700 from Fry’s. Also: if you are already a member of the Program you have to re-register in August. Just go to the e-mail location shown above and follow the directions to re-enroll.

Give Kids a Boost – It’s often difficult for young children to see what’s happening on stage because they are “vertically challenged.” Now you can help the Friends solve this problem by purchasing a booster seat. The purchase price is $25, and each seat purchased will be labelled with the name of the purchaser. Visit our website, for more information.

Support the Friends, Become a “Star” – A unique way to support FOTOT. For $100 you can purchase a brick which will be placed in the “Avenue of Stars” located just east of the Theatre in the City Hall Plaza. You can purchase a brick to honor your family, a friend, someone you admire, or to celebrate an event (graduation, birthday, etc.). For more information, visit our website.

Become a Member of the Friends – Join us as we preserve and illuminate the heritage of the glorious Orpheum Theatre. Visit our website to learn more.


Friends of the Orpheum Theatre

A 501c3 nonprofit whose Mission is:

To support the art, culture, and history of the Orpheum Theatre through outreach, education, and volunteerism.

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