The Orpheum Theatre has six floors of dressing rooms, a film projector, a world-class sound system and one of the only surviving Wurlitzer theater organs in the country. It's also one of the last independent venues in the city. Ninety years in, it continues to thrive after more than 85 years thanks to its enthusiastic leader, Steve Needleman whose family has owned the building since 1964.
It opened in 1926 as the final theater included in vaudeville master Gustav Walter's chain of revue theaters, each called the Orpheum. It was the number one place to see Hollywood's biggest names, at a time when live variety shows reigned supreme. Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Judy Garland -- who was discovered at the Orpheum performing under her true name Francis Gumm -- all performed there.More »