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Orpheum Theatre

Orpheum Theatre. Granville Street. Origin 1927. This 'jewel box' theatre is Vancouver's 'grand old lady' and last surviving authentic movie palace from the roaring twenties: glamour era of the Vaudeville stage. The cost to build is $1 million, with architectural design by B. Marcus Priteca, commissioned to design an amazing series of 550 vaudeville theatres for Orpheum. The interior features a 3000-pound, 1000-bulb Czech-made crystal glass chandelier and highly ornamented, solid gold cathedral ceiling carved in Italy. A $60,000.00 Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ beats at its heart. Master mural painter Tony Heinsbergen paints the original clouds and birds scene in the spectacular oval, 60-foot diameter interior dome in 1927. He miraculously returns, at 82 years old, to create a new piece with a musical theme during the faithful restoration of 1976, working upside down off a 70-foot scaffolding. Much of the success and magic of this 'longhouse' theatre is attributed to the inventive direction and management of the eminent Ivan Ackery, from 1935 to 1969, and his amazingly dedicated staff, including 65 usherettes. Outside the tall, melodic neon Orpheum sign, with flashing white light bulbs all around, tosses out a visual opus. The entertaining iconic neon sign, threatened to be trashed in the '70's, has protective heritage status. Known as one of the finest live-performance concert halls in North America today.