Friday, January 17, 2014

Phoenix's Orpheum Theater

Today, we show the Orpheum Theater's audience section. This magnificent theater, built shortly before the Great Depression, is Phoenix's "...only remaining example of theater palace architecture. 21st century technology blends beautifully with old-world charm and opulence at the Spanish Medieval and Baroque Revival-style theater" (discoverphoenixarizona.com/orpheum-theater).

Opening the doors to the Balcony reveals these artistic light fixtures.
Theater seats are restored originals, and still bear the initials 'N' and 'R' for the Orpheum's builders, Harry Nace and J. E. Rickards.
The theater seats 1,364 people: 1,062 on orchestra level, and 302 in the balcony.
As we turned our attention to the main seating area, even the ornate fixtures of the lobbies and stairways we wrote about yesterday did not prepare us for the array of beautiful features before us. It took many, many minutes to let our eyes wander over the many details.
At this point, even if I had been taking notes on the docent's presentation, there would be an extensive section of blank pages.

Surveying this area begins with the famous ceiling that imitates a bright sunset with moving clouds by employing colored cove lights. When the lights go down, the ceiling becomes a dark "sky" with twinkling stars. We did not see this transition, but our docent's description enabled us to easily imagine the passage of time over the ceiling.
Later, I was able to get closer to the stage to look at some of the figures on the proscenium
and these concentric ropes of ornamental plaster.
We guessed that the pipes for the Theater's Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ were behind these architectural features on either side of the stage.

The audience chamber, now called the "Lewis Auditorium" in honor of Jewell and Delbert Lewis and family), is inspired by the work of theater designer John Eberson. The atmospheric theatre creates the illusion that one is enjoying the performance “al fresco” in the courtyard of a Spanish villa. Ornate plaster columns are covered with gold leaf accents.
Landscapes above the sidewalls were painted by Phoenix muralist David Swing, one of Phoenix’s most prolific and best known artists in the early 20th century. They display mountains, canyons and Arizona plants.

These murals are at the center of a sad chapter in the Orpheum's history. In efforts to "modernize" the theater and increase attendance, various owners during this time eradicated much of the theater's original artistry. For example, rich detailed murals and other decorative touches were painted black, reportedly so that the theatergoers would not be distracted while viewing the movie.
Just off the balcony is another unique feature of the Orpheum. This circular space has a parabolic ceiling that magnifies one's voice when standing directly in the center.
Actors would stand in the center to rehearse their lines. Since the ceiling's shape would increase the volume of their voices, they could talk softly without disturbing others nearby.

However, this shallow domed room that is painted blue with blue-green aluminum leaf glazed panels topped with gold medallions has a separate identity.
This room is known as "Room of the Young Moderns," and is also called "The Kissing Room."
The medallions depict couples kissing, and many couples visiting this room follow suit.

3 comments:

eyad ammar said...


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شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
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شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...


اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
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شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...


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شركة نقل عفش بحائل
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شركة نقل عفش