The Orpheum Theater sold its last movie ticket in 1979, but this summer a film series welcomes back movie lovers of all ages for free.

star wars movie poster

The Orpheum was built between 1918 and 1921 and operated by Keith-Orpheum Circuit. In 1925, the pure vaudeville of the time was compromised by the public’s growing interest in movies and by 1928, Keith-Orpheum merged with radio interests to form the RKO Orpheum. This summer, the Orpheum is teaming up with the Tipitina’s Foundation to honor its cinematic roots with its Summer Film Series, which offers Foundation Free Movie Mondays and $6 Tuesdays to provide the public a special movie screening experience at the historic venue. Such blockbusters as Star Wars and Mad Max: Fury Road will be screened alongside some of the all time greats, like Singing in the Rain and A Streetcar Named Desire.

“We decided to include some classics in order to capture nostalgia for patrons that may have seen those films in theater some time ago,” says Orpheum General Manager Kristin Shannon. To help introduce younger patrons to the Orpheum, the series includes matinee showings of Frozen and Minions.

“The Tipitina’s Foundation’s Free Movie Mondays complements its annual Foundation Free Friday concert series at Tipitina’s, which has been a huge success,” says Shannon. “We wanted to expand Foundation Free offerings and thought partnering [up to bring] films back to the Orpheum for the public would provide a memorable experience in this beautifully renovated theater, while also giving attendees a chance to learn more about what the Tipitina’s Foundation does.”

All concession sales and donations will directly benefit the Tipitina’s Foundation and its four main programs: Instruments A Comin’, Sunday Youth Music Workshops, Tipitina’s Internship Program and Tipitina’s Music Office Co-Ops, all of which support Louisiana and New Orleans’ irreplaceable music community.

“Our mission at the Orpheum is to create memorable experiences,” says Shannon, and with the film series that includes encouraging patrons to dress appropriately for the films and sample movie-specific cocktails.  “The film series is a great after-work and evening destination, especially in the hot New Orleans summer. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the renovated venue and show with a cold, delicious cocktail, glass or wine, beer or soft drink and some hot popcorn while not having to break the bank.”


The 2016 summer Line-up. All films start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise marked.

Monday, July 11: Jaws – free
Tuesday, July 12: Star Wars – The Force Awakens - $6
Monday, July 18: Singing in the Rain - free
Monday, July 25: 
Streetcar Named Desirefree
Tuesday, July 26: 
Cocktail - $6
Saturday, July 30: 
Saturday Night Fever - $6
Sunday, July 31: 
Frozen (1 p.m.) - free
Sunday, July 31: 
Minions (3:30 p.m.) - free
Monday, August 1: 
Mamma Miafree
Tuesday, August 2: 
The Dark Knight - $6