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Orpheum Theater Renovation About to Take Center Stage

The historic Orpheum Theater, shuttered since Hurricane Katrina, is on its way down the renovation road, at last. The new owners, Tipitina's Foundation co-founder Roland Von Kurnatowski and Dr. Eric George, who purchased the University Place building earlier this year for $2 million, have applied for a $7 million building permit, City Biz reports. The Orpheum took in about a foot of water after Hurricane Katrina and previous reno plans never quite panned out. It's looking like this revamp is the real deal, though, with makeover plans that include a renovated backstage area, new seating on all three levels, private boxes on the gallery level, a new ticket office, restrooms, and bar areas. Built in 1918 with seating for 1,750, the theater opened in 1921, playing host to vaudeville acts, silent films, and live music, and it's still packed with intricate artistic details. The plaster features, marble stairs, terrazzo floors, and terra cotta wall decorations will all be getting the restoration treatment. Plans call for a Spring 2015 opening with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra returning to its old stomping grounds.
· Renovations to start soon at Orpheum Theater [City Biz; sub. req.]
· Historic Orpheum Theater will spring back to life [Curbed NOLA]
· Orpheum Theater photos [orpheumtheaternola.com]