The Orpheum Theatre invites the entire community to attend its annual Holiday Open House on Friday, December 20. Doors will open at 10:00 AM when the Tony® Award winning dramatic masterpiece WAR HORSE, playing March 25th through 30th, goes on sale to the public.
The Open House will include an array of fun, family-friendly activities including special showings of The Making of War Horse on the big screen; a holiday concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ at noon, performed by celebrated organist Tony Thomas; free-admission to Miracle on 34th Street (1947) at 2:00 PM with any Orpheum Canned Food or Coat Drive donation; and a special presentation about the history of Memphis movie theatres with local historian Vincent Astor at 4:30 PM, followed by a book signing with Astor at 5:00 PM to celebrate his recent release: Memphis Movie Theatres, which explores how local theatres helped shape the culture of the city.
“We always enjoy welcoming the public to the Orpheum during the holidays,” said Orpheum President and CEO Pat Halloran. “We encourage the community to come and celebrate the yuletide season with us and to cross some people off your list by giving the gift of Broadway.”
All guests who purchase the Orpheum’s Holiday 4-Pack at the event will receive a free gift: Memphis Heritage Inc.’s special edition 2014 calendar. Each year Memphis Heritage Inc. selects an honoree to be featured throughout the calendar, an important fundraiser for Memphis Heritage, Inc. This year the calendar commemorates the Orpheum Theatre in honor of its 85th Anniversary. The Holiday 4-pack includes tickets to all four of the Orpheum’s spring blockbuster productions: WICKED, WAR HORSE, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, and THE BOOK OF MORMON.
The first 50 attendees to purchase WAR HORSE or WICKED tickets will also receive a special gift. Gift certificates will be available and include free gift packaging.
The Orpheum’s Holiday Open House is a come-and-go event. Guests are encouraged to enjoy lunch in the auditorium during the organ concert. A food truck will be parked outside the building, the Orpheum concessions stand will be open, and sack lunches will also be permitted.
Admission to Miracle on 34th Street is free with any donation to the Orpheum’s Canned Food or Coat Drive, and all other activities are free and open to the public.
The Orpheum’s Holiday Open House
- 10:00 AM – Open House begins
- WAR HORSE goes on sale to the public
- The Making of War Horse featured on the Orpheum big screen
- FM-100 Broadcasting Live from The Orpheum
- Free donuts, coffee, and hot chocolate for guests
- 12:00 PM – Mighty Wurlitzer Holiday Concert featuring Tony Thomas
- WRVR Broadcasting Live from The Orpheum
- Bring a lunch or visit a Food Truck parked outside the theatre
- 2:00 PM –Miracle on 34th Street (Free admission with any Orpheum Canned Food or Coat Drive donation)
- Orpheum concessions available for purchase
- 4:30 PM – “Memphis Movie Theatres” presentation by Memphis Historian Vincent Astor
- 5:00 PM – Vincent Astor book signing for Memphis Movie Theatres
- Memphis Movie Theatres available for purchase
About Memphis Movie Theatres by Vincent Astor
Memphis has always been a theatrical town—a crossroads in the center of America for entertainment as well as commerce. Movies are among the many things that travel through the city, both for distribution and exhibition. Thousands of people who have lived here or just passed through, especially during and after World War II, found their way to the movie theatres. From the vaudeville palaces on Main Street to the nickelodeons on Beale Street, these theatres helped shape the culture of the city. Kemmons Wilson operated movie houses before he built the first Holiday Inn. Several movie theatres played roles in the life of Elvis Presley. W.C. Handy attended the opening of a theatre named for him. Local censorship practices influenced decisions in Hollywood, and the first multiplex in the region was built in Memphis.
Author Vincent Astor is a native Memphian and local historian with a special fondness for movie houses. He has warm memories of the cinema when theatres had only one screen and of working at the Malco/Orpheum Theatre. Astor has assembled photographs from the Memphis Public Library, Memphis Heritage, Malco Theatres, and several family collections into a chronicle with memories for Memphians of all ages to enjoy.
About The Orpheum Theatre:
The Orpheum Theatre is operated by the Memphis Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that depends on the financial support of the community to carry out its mission to foster the enjoyment and understanding of the arts in Memphis, as well as the economic prosperity of Downtown and surrounding areas.