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Orpheum Theater

Orpheum Theater paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 01/22/2011
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 1054

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The original Orpheum Theatre was built in 1890 and was called The Grand Opera House. At the time, it was known as "the classiest theatre outside of New York City."

203 South Main Street
Memphis , TN 38103
Phone: 901-525-3000
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 35.140114
Lon: -90.055055

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 2
Stories: 2
Claims: 5
Evidence: 1
Resources: 2
Retrievals: 13170
Vistor Rating: 2.5
Votes: 2

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Added by: sdonley on 01/17/2018 DB#:361

The Orpheum Theatre is one of Memphis' most beloved and historic landmarks. With a rich history and shows to entertain people of all ages, the Orpheum is a popular destination for locals and tourists, alike.

The original Orpheum Theatre was built in 1890 and was called The Grand Opera House. At the time, it was known as "the classiest theatre outside of New York City." With vaudeville making up the majority of shows, the theatre became part of The Orpheum Circuit of vaudeville shows in 1907. Soon, the theatre was known as simply, The Orpheum.

The Fire and Rebirth:

In 1923, The Grand Opera House burned to the ground during a strip-tease show. Five years later, a new theatre was built at the original location but was double the size of The Grand. This theatre was officially named The Orpheum. Vaudeville continued to be the theatre's most popular form of entertainment until 1940.

The Malco:

In 1940, Malco, the city's largest movie theater chain, purchased the Orpheum. The Malco showed first-run movies for the next 36 years.


The Memphis Development Foundation bought the theatre in 1976 and in 1982, began a five million dollar renovation. In 1984, the Orpheum Theatre held its grand reopening, having been restored to its original elegance.

The Shows:

The Orpheum Theatre hosts two seasons of Broadway shows annually, bringing favorites such as Cats, Mamma Mia, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to Memphis.

During the summer months, the Orpheum shows classic movies each week on its big screen, during its Classic Movie Series.

In addition to Broadway shows and movies, the Orpheum hosts many other plays, operas, concerts, and comedy acts.

Added by: sdonley on 01/22/2011 DB#:57


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

The Orpheum Theatre is said to be haunted by a pretty little girl with pigtails who was actually killed outside the theatre in 1921 when she was struck by a trolley. Ever since her death she has apparently haunted the theatre and is most often spotted during performances. She is especially active whenever there are performances that at geared towards children - for obvious reasons! She has become such a fixture at the theatre that seat number C5 is never sold! The theatre has reserved it permanently for Mary. Aside from watching the performances, Mary has also been known to slam doors and flick the lights on and off!

Added by: sdonley on 01/17/2018 DB#:1355

News report about the haunting at this location

Added by: sdonley on 01/17/2018 DB#:1356

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
1163 01/22/2011 sdonley The appartiion of a little girl is seen throughout the theater.
2672 01/17/2018 sdonley Doors have slammed on their own.
2673 01/17/2018 sdonley Lights have flickered on and off on their own.
2674 01/17/2018 sdonley People have heard the singing of a little girl.
2675 01/17/2018 sdonley Guests have photographed the apparition of a little girl on the stage.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

To add evidence for a claim, you must submit it to for approval to be entered into the database.

CLAIM #: 2675 - Guests have photographed the apparition of a little girl on the stage.

Evidence Type: Photograph
Encounter Type: Apparition
Hauting Type: Intelligent
Investigation Status: More Investigation Needed
Photo taken of little girl on stage.
Submitted By: sdonley On: 01/17/2018
DBA Approved: Y

Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

10 Haunted Places in Memphis
Added: 01/17/2018 By: sdonley
Article explaining the ghostly activity at this locations.
Wikipedia Entry
Added: 01/17/2018 By: sdonley
Wikipedia entry for this location.

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