The Orpheum Theatre is a small theatre (seating 1364) in downtown Phoenix. This venue was originally used for vaudeville acts as part of the nationwide Orpheum Theatre chain.
Construction began in 1927 and was completed in 1929 for a total cost of $750,000. It was designed by architects Lescher & Mahoney, with Hugh Gilbert associated, and built for owner-operators J.E. Rickards and Harry Nace. Built in a Spanish Baroque style, intricate murals and moldings were an integral part of the design, all meant to give patrons the impression that they were enjoying the shows "al fresco."
In the 1940s the Orpheum was purchased by the Paramount Pictures chain, and re-named, "The Paramount." In the 60's Nederlander purchased it to add it as a stop on the Broadway circuit. Throughout the 60's until its restoration, it was renamed, "Palace West."
After falling into disrepair for some years, the Orpheum Theatre was purchased in 1984 by the City of Phoenix, which then began a 12 year, $14 million restoration. The Conrad Schmitt Studios created the transformation and the Orpheum reopened on January 28, 1997, with a performance of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing.
The Orpheum Theatre is the current home of the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera.It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.