Memphis, Tennessee is famous for its influence to different music genres like the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. Many legendary musicians like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash recorded their albums at Memphis’s Sun Studio.
Downtown Memphis. (Link: https://www.10best.com/destinations/tennessee/memphis/downtown/)
Other attractions that Memphis can offer are the former home of Presley, which is called Gracelan, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Beale Street, the Memphis Zoo, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and more. Another place that people visit in Memphis is the supposedly haunted Orpheum Theatre. A little girl is said to be the resident ghost there, who died in a car accident in front of the theatre many years ago.
A photo of the Orpheum Theatre as seen from the outside. (Link: https://styleblueprint.com/memphis/everyday/orpheum-theatre-memphis/)
The History Of The Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre is located in downtown Memphis. It opened in 1928. It was built on the original site of the Grand Opera House, which burned down because of a fire. The Orpheum Theatre was designed by remarkable architects from Rapp and Rapp of Chicago. The cost of the construction of the theatre was $1.6 million. It was twice as large as the Grand Opera House and had glittering gold and silver finish, marble, carpets, and antique crystal chandeliers.
An illustration of the Orpheum Theatre back in the day. (Link: http://www.historic-memphis.com/memphis-historic/movietheaters/orpheum-malco.html)
In 1940, Michael A. Lightman’s movie theater chain decided to buy the Orpheum Theatre because the vaudeville industry was already fading. The theatre changed the name to Malco and they showed movies there instead of vaudeville. By 1976, the Orpheum Theatre was sold by Lightman and by 1977, it was bought by Memphis Development Foundation. They restored Malco to its old name and started Broadway productions and concerts at the theatre.
A photo of the Orpheum Theatre when it became Malco. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/508766089135460356/)
However, in 1982, the Orpheum Theatre closed down. It closed its doors to the public on Christmas Day that year. The closing was not permanent was it was only done so that the building can be renovated to its former glory. There were many changes made involving the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Decorative and lighting changes were also made. To cater to the growing needs of the customers, they also added more restrooms, large concessions area, and many more. After all the renovations, the Orpheum Theatre had a new seating capacity of 2, 491 and it was opened to the public again by January 1984.
Another renovation of the Orpheum Theatre took place in 1996. This renovation was to expand the stage and backstage areas. The renovation included 13 new dressing rooms and a warm-up area for the ballet company that performs in the theatre.
Many broadway performances have taken place at the Orpheum Theatre. Some of them are Disney’s “Lion King,” “Wicked,” “The King and I,” “Les Miserables,” and many more.
A view of the Orpheum Theatre from the stage. (Link: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/entertainment/arts/2018/02/27/hamilton-memphis-musical-tickets-tour-orpheum/374570002/)
The Ghost Of A Little Girl At The Orpheum Theatre
The little girl who is said to be the resident ghost at the Orpheum Theatre is named Mary. She is said to be 12 years old and it really is unclear what caused her death. Many believe that it was due to a car accident in front of the Orpheum Theatre. During a paranormal investigation by researchers from the University of Memphis, Mary allegedly told them through an Ouija board that she had a falling accident in the downtown area of Memphis. Although it was not anywhere near the Orpheum Theatre, Mary reportedly told them that when she wandered into the theatre, she liked it and she never left.
A view of the stage at the Orpheum Theatre from the balcony. (Link: https://aviewfrommyseat.com/venue/Orpheum+Theatre+%28Memphis%29/level/7/Lower+Gallery/)
Mary reportedly has her brown hair braided and wears a white dress. She is a bit shy and doesn’t really interact with guests and staff at the Orpheum Theatre. She usually just stares at people who see her.
However, she does make her presence known. She is believed to be responsible for the flickering of the lights, tools being emptied out of the drawers, doors swinging open and shutting on its own, and many more. Although Mary does this, she never reportedly disrupted a performance at the Orpheum Theatre.
Mary also has a favorite seat at the theatre. She loves to watch the performances at seat C5 in the balcony. Many of the cast members of the show “Fiddler on the Roof” attested to seeing Mary sitting in the balcony watching them perform.
The performers of Fidler on the Roof at the Orpheum Theatre. (Link: https://www.jewishscenemagazine.com/fiddler-on-the-roof-is-a-match-at-the-orpheum-memphis/)
A woman and her group also saw Mary wearing period clothing and was dancing in the lobby. She reportedly vanished as they watched her dancer her way around the lobby.
The Other Ghosts At The Orpheum Theatre
The other ghosts at the Orpheum Theatre are said to be one male and one female. The male spirit is allegedly named David and he is waiting to escort Mary to the other side. Since she refuses to leave the Orpheum Theatre, David has to hang around with her in the theatre. The female spirit is reportedly named Eleanor and is unhappy. She allegedly frequents the balcony and is described as a cold entity.
Orpheum Theatre as seen from the outside at night. (Link: https://seeksghosts.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-orpheum-theatres-mary.html)