Construction Starts on $14.5M Orpheum Performing Arts Center

The Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts and Education has broken ground in downtown Memphis, announced parent company Memphis Development Foundation and the Greater Memphis Chamber.

The Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts and Education has broken ground in downtown Memphis. The announcement was made by parent company Memphis Development Foundation and the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Set to rise adjacent to the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis, the new performing arts center will provide 39,000 square feet of space including a state-of-the-art 356-seat theatre, a sizeable multi-use rehearsal hall available for community functions, a cutting-edge audio-video lab, office space and proper classroom and education space for students. The two-story performing arts campus is expected to rival the facilities of major cities and will increase the number of individuals served by the Orpheum Theatre from a yearly 70,000 to 100,000.

Of the $14.5 million total development cost, $10 million has been raised prior to groundbreaking via corporate, foundation and individual donors. The outstanding balance is expected to be accumulated before the facility opens at 225 South Main Street.

Local architecture, planning and design firm The Crump Firm is handling the design of The Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts and Education. The company has extensive experience in the performing arts field. Notable past projects include the $3.1 million Bartlett Performing Arts Center featuring a 350-seat theatre and versatile meeting and events space, and the St. Mary’s Episcopal School’s 300-seat state-of-the-art performing arts center with an orchestra pit and orchestra shell.

“Once opened to the public, the Orpheum Centre will allow us to expand our education programs, free up time and space in the historic Orpheum Theatre for additional events,” declared Pat Halloran, Orpheum president and CEO. “The Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts & Education will have a great economic impact for this region by creating jobs and growing Memphis’ significant performing arts sector,” added Leigh Shockey, chairman of the board, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

Image courtesy of the The Orpheum Theatre