Built in 1911
630 South Broadway
This theatre was originally named the Orpheum. It is the oldest of the remaining Orpheum theaters in the United States. As an early vaudeville house built without amplified sound, it is designed so no seat is further than 80 feet from the stage. Every major vaudeville star on the Orpheum circuit performed in this theatre, including the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Bob Hope, Al Jolson and Will Rogers. The principal architect was G. Albert Lansburgh, who later designed the new Orpheum Theatre down the block. His local work includes the Warner Bros. Theatre Building in Hollywood, and the interiors of the Wiltern and El Capitan theatres. This specific style of decor is indicative of G. Albert Lansburgh’s work. He loved to use recessed lighting, here used in the three mural domes in the ceiling. Reflectors were built around the bulbs to give a kind of "holy glow." As you look at the borders of the balcony you can see bare bulbs- this was not a cheap decorative technique. It was actually very exciting for a theater to have electricity at the turn of the century, so they showed them off.