New Exhibit Helps Celebrate Orpheum’s Past

The Wichita Orpheum Theatre is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion, the theater has donated items to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historial Museum.

The 1922 atmospheric theater was the first of its kind in the United States. Museum director Eric Cale says the donated items have been in the Orpheum building since its beginning.

“The objects we’ve received from the Orpheum are things that have been around the Orpheum over the course of 90 years, and the organization wanted to see that they were preserved for future generations and that’s what we do.”

Orpheum president Jennifer Wright says photographs of the theater and its employees are part of the exhibit, as well as other items that were in use during the early years.

“Also, various artifacts like original popcorn boxes, ticket stubs, programs from the 30s - actually, no…the ‘20s and ‘30s - and in addition to that we have donated the original architect sign that was hanging, I guess, on-site during the construction in 1922.”

The Orpheum’s exhibit at the historical museum in downtown Wichita opens today and will be on display throughout most of the summer.