The Orpheum Theater located in Madison, Wisconsin is a surviving historic movie and vaudeville shows theater. Located only one block from the state capitol at 216 State Street, the theater is a true gem in the city for cultural arts and entertainment in Madison.
The old school theater’s French Renaissance interior is truly amazing and still to this day there are quite a few of the areas inside that are untouched from when the theater was built in the 1926. Hanging above the building outside is the large, visible, iconic Orpheum sign that is a historic landmark in the city.
Performers such as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, and Bob Marley have performed on the stage here. The building is filled with almost 100 years of history.
You will stand in awe in the lobby area as you look around and take in the view of the white grand staircase that leads you up to the second floor. As you look to the high ceiling you will see a large antique crystal chandelier hanging from above. Half of the room has terrazzo floors that are well polished and shiny with their mixture of marble and glass sparkling in the light. The other half of the room and the stairs are covered with dark, burgundy carpeting.
Under the staircase are tables and chairs that belong to the restaurant located right in the lobby. The bar area is located towards the back of the area and is small but is still a nice area to stop for a pre-movie or show drink. They have a full bar with lots of varieties of beer, wine and liquor.
The only con of the entire place was the restrooms that were located in the basement. They were very filthy and plain and simple, smelled really awful. There was garbage all over the floors and the sinks were full of soap and garbage.
The theater shows box hit movies daily but still keeps its’ business unique by also showing a great variety of independent films that are not offered at many movie theaters anymore.
Comedy acts and concerts such as The Guess Who, The Blue Comedy Tour and many others fill the theater with people on certain days throughout the year.
Anyone is able to rent out areas of the theater for events such as weddings, parties, meetings, lectures, or whatever you would like.
The Orpheum Lobby serves food and drinks for lunch (Tuesday through Fridays from 11:30am-2pm) and dinner (Tuesday-Thursdays 5pm-10pm) during the week and for breakfast (9am-1pm on Saturday and Brunch from 10am-2pm on Sunday) and dinner (Friday and Saturdays from 5pm-10pm) on the weekends.
The portions are good sized and the prices are fairly cheap for Madison.
Examples of breakfast items… (Prices range from $5-$10)
- Reuben Benedict
- Bagel and Lox
- Strawberry Waffles
- Smoked Trout Omelet
Examples of lunch items… (Prices range from $5-$15)
- Steak Frites
- Hen House salad
- Turkey Club
- Orpheum Burger
Examples of dinner items… (Prices range from $8-$15)
- Creamy polenta with aspara
- gusFlank Steak
- Pan seared duck breast with tart cherries
On Sundays they offer their popular brunch buffet with a great variety of choices from all of the traditional items like pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon to Quiche Florentine and Lox with red onions and capers. It costs $16 per person but includes your meal and drink. Kids under the age of $12 are only $8.
I would think that this theater would be the perfect location for an elegant, royal like wedding. The history of the theater is absolutely beautiful and amazing. I would highly recommend all history lovers to check this building out if you are in the city of Madison.