Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goodnight, Elizabeth

National Velvet, 1944

Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011

And let us not forget her lifelong love of dogs, mostly Maltese.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Long Live Madison's Orpheum Theatre

SO good to see The Orpheum in Madison is still run by trouble-making Leftists!

I spent the summer of 1989 selling tickets, eating popcorn, and enjoying my beginning of first serious romance at Madison's iconic Orpheum Theatre. It was built in 1926 and has more nooks and crannies, back alleys and catwalks than any building I have ever encountered. It was more of a playground than a place of work. It is one of the few buildings for which I actually have romantic feelings.

Per Wiki:
Built in 1926 by Rapp and Rapp, the Limestone, Art Deco exterior and French Renaissance interior made the building an icon, with the "Orpheum" sign towering over State Street. There have been limited changes to the structure of the building over the years. The terrazzo floors, chandeliers, grand staircase, and statue of Orpheus overlooking the entryway are still intact. Partially financed by dentist William Beecroft, also known as "Mr. Theater," The Orpheum cost $750,000 to build and originally featured vaudeville shows and a movie theater, later featuring contemporary artists and film. The Orpheum sponsors the yearly Madison Independent Film Festival and serves food daily from its Lobby Lounge restaurant.

The Orpheum Theatre was the first building in Wisconsin to have air conditioning; the air conditioner itself takes up an entire room in the basement. Furthermore, it was the first building on its block between Johnson Street and State Street.

The Orpheum Theatre originally seated 2,400 people. After renovations in the 1960s to add "The Stage Door" Theatre, only six feet of the original stage was left, and 700 seats were lost, making the capacity 1700.

The Orpheum nearly burned down on December 19, 2004. It was the third attempted arson on the building. Several other Madison landmark music establishments such as O'Cayz Corral and the Club deWash had burned down mysteriously in previous years.

The Orpheum Theatre in Madison is on The National Register of Historic Places listings in Wisconsin


Back in the 80's, we showed standard fare, such as Platoon, all those Lethal Weapon movies, and numerous other "classics." These days the popcorn and candy counter has been redesigned as a state-of-the-art kitchen and they serve lunch and dinner in the spacious lobby between the matching grand staircases that lead to balconies no longer coded to bear the weight of occupants.

They show mostly Indie films, and host musicians (Sevendust is a regular) and there has been a project underway for several years to try and save the building and its marquee.

But I have never been more proud of her than I am right now.

Keep up the good work!!
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