Orpheum Theatre (Montréal) | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Orpheum Theatre (Montréal)

The Orpheum Theatre/Théâtre Orpheum was an 1,100-seat auditorium located at 525 Sainte-Catharine Street West in Montréal.

The Orpheum Theatre/Théâtre Orpheum was an 1,100-seat auditorium located at 525 Sainte-Catherine Street West in Montréal. Inaugurated in August 1907 as the Bennett Theatre and renamed the Orpheum in 1910, it primarily hosted American vaudeville shows for its first 10 years. Its acoustic properties led the impresario J.-Albert Gauvin to present recitals and French plays by touring companies there beginning in 1920.

Until the end of the 1920s, artists appearing there included Clara Butt, Anna Case, the Flonzaley Quartet, Percy Grainger, Clara Haskil, Bronislaw Huberman, Georgette Leblanc, the London String Quartet, the National Civic Grand Opera, the Opéra de Feo and the Canadian singers Eva Gauthier, Ulysse Paquin, and Rodolphe Plamondon. The Montreal Orchestra gave its first concerts there in the fall of 1930.

The Orpheum came under the management of Consolidated Theatres in 1930 and served as a cinema until 1957, when the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde leased the hall. Harry SomersThe Fool and Maurice Blackburn’s Silent Measures were presented there, as were concerts by the Orchestra da Camera in 1959. Productions of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera with Monique Leyrac and Pauline Julien were staged there in 1961, followed by Breffort and Monnot's Irma la douce with Guylaine Guy in 1963, and Jacques Languirand and Gabriel Charpentier’s Klondyke in 1965. Shortly thereafter, the theatre was torn down to make way for an office building.