Occasionally, Hollywood studios would hold premiere parties in various sections of the country. They would send the stars of the film to appear at a theater to talk about the film, answer questions from the audience, and sign autographs. This was probably as close as any member of the audience would ever get to a real movie star. Below are three occasions when Hollywood appeared at the Orpheum/Paramount.
The “Baron” visits Phoenix – on March 1, 1950, the Orpheum hosted the world premiere of “The Baron of Arizona”. A “BOATS” (based on a true story) picture, it tells of James Reavis, who meticulously re-created an old Spanish land grant that purports to give the descendent (his wife) of the original grantee title to much of the Arizona territory. Ultimately, the forgery is discovered and Reavis was sent to prison. Part of the film was shot in and around Florence. The two stars, Vincent Price and Ellen Drew, talked about the making of the picture, and took questions from the audience.
Moses & Nefretiri come to the Paramount – on January 16, 1957 the Paramount featured the world premiere of “Three Violent People”. The western, shot at various locations throughout Arizona, is about a Civil War veteran who fights to get his homestead back after the war. Its two stars, Charlton Heston and Anne Baxter, were present to talk about making a movie in Arizona, and sign autographs. This was the second consecutive film that Baxter and Heston made together. Ironically, this film was made after, but released before, “The Ten Commandments”. Also, both were Oscar winners, Baxter for “The Razor’s Edge” (Best Supporting Actress – 1946), and Heston for “Ben Hur” (Best Actor – 1959).
Teen-time in Phoenix – Hollywood churned out seemingly dozens and dozens of teen-oriented films in the 60s (who could forget “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini”). The Paramount was not immune to this phenomenon. On April 2, 1960, the Theater had the world premiere of “Because They’re Young”, starring “The World’s Oldest Teenager”, Dick Clark. Clark plays a High School Guidance Counselor . Accompanying Clark were (remember them?) cast members Tuesday Weld, Michael Callan, Victoria Shaw, and Doug McClure.
Clark had an extensive career in TV, as a host, emcee, actor, and producer, but he appeared in very few theatrical films.
Downstairs at the Orpheum is Back!
What’s Coming Up at the Orpheum
Mar. 3 Phoenix Ballet’s Dance Gala 6:00
Mar. 6 Free Public Tours Noon 1:00
Mar. 7 St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland 7:30
Mar. 13 Free Public Tours Noon 1:00
Mar. 13 Downstairs @ the “O”: Urban Nocturnes 6:30
Mar. 16 Theater League presents: A Chorus Line 8:00
Mar. 17 Theater League presents: A Chorus Line 2:00 8:00
Mar. 18 Theater League presents: A Chorus Line 1:00 6:30
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 www.FrysCommunityRewards.com 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.
Attention Amazon Shoppers - Now you can donate to the Friends when you order from Amazon! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Click smile.amazon.com , sign in, and shop! It’s that easy!
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 at fototphx.org to learn more.
Visit the Theatre
Did You Know – The light rail has two stops that are less than a 10 minute walk from the Orpheum. Whether you’re coming from the East Valley or from Northwest Phoenix, taking the train allows you to avoid traffic as well as the cost of parking your car.
Friends of the Orpheum Theatre
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose Mission is:
To support the art, culture, and history of the Orpheum Theatre through outreach, education, and volunteerism.