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Council Green Lights Orpheum Theater Restoration

The New Orleans City Council cleared the way for Thursday for the reopening of the latest CBD theater with designs on lighting up the marquee once again. The Council signed off on an ordinance that provided approval for the Orpheum Theater to clear the way for theater to come back online.


Located at 129 University Place, the 1800-seat theatre initially opened for vaudeville in 1921. Soon after, it became one of New Orleans' many moviehouses. Narrowly spared the wrecking ball in 1979, the theatre later became the home of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Though they have moved to Mahalia Jackson, musicians still talk about their fondness for the acoustics at the Orpheum.


Like many downtown theaters, the Orpheum was damaged extensively in the Federal Flood. But earlier this year, Tipitina's Foundation founders Eric George and Roland von Kurnatowski came forward to purchase the space with the intention of renovating it. Plans currently call for a $10 million renovation, with the theater reopening in 2015.


On Thursday, the City Council gave their stamp of approval with a vote to award a conditional use permit that allows an "amuseument place with the sale of alcoholic beverages.


"The Orpheum is a beloved and historical New Orleans landmark and the ongoing renovations will restore the theater and bring it back into commerce for our citizens and visitors to enjoy," District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said.


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