TWIN FALLS — The Orpheum Theatre in downtown Twin has had its doors closed since March, right when the pandemic started. During that time, the theatre manager, Jared Johnson, has focused on much-needed renovations for the facility.
Some of the significant changes made are refurbished balcony seating, more women's restrooms available on the second floor, and more space backstage for the actors. Yet, the most notable difference is visible right when you walk into the lobby.
"We've redone our concession area. So we have a cue line now, so now we don't have a traffic jam as we did before. It was one of the things we would always deal with just because of the way it was all constructed, said Johnson."
Some other adjustments need to be made, like fixing the wallpaper in the auditorium and getting the new ticket box ready. However, a bulk of what Johnson set out to do is completed, and now the theatre is getting ready for its first performance in ten months, which will be Disney's Aladdin Jr.
There will be COVID precautions in place for the show. People will be encouraged to wear masks, and social distancing will be in place, meaning fewer tickets will have to be sold to ensure space. Despite limited seating, those involved in the production are just eager to get back on stage.
Emily Johnson, wife of Jared and the Education Director for Ovation Performing Arts and the director for this show, said, "For the people participating, it's a really important part of their life to be able to do what they love and what they're passionate about. So, I think it's really critical that we continue to try and offer this to our community."
Since the theatre has been closed for such a long time, Jared has had to adapt its business model and try and put on more events rather than just plays to make up for lost revenue. Johnson said, "If there are individuals or companies that would like to have a private movie event, for your family, for your staff, for clients. We are absolutely open to that and would be happy to host."
Just because the theatre will be open to various events, it will not guarantee its success; only the Twin
community and its residents can do that. "It's just been such a long time since anyone has been able to do this. I would hope that we have a lot of community support and fill our house," said Emily Johnson.
With shows, performances, and events being scheduled, 2021 is also off to a good start. 2021 is also significant to the Orpheum because it marks 100 years since it first opened on October 31st. Depending on what COVID is like at that time, Jared hopes to host an event, and the public can make recommendations on what the staff should do.
Jared said, "You can find us out there on social media. You can find us out there on Facebook, find us out there on Instagram. You can also email us and let us know some cool ideas that you might have."
To submit a question you can also use the the theatre's website.
The performances for Disney's Aladdin Jr. will be on January 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th. All days will have shows starting at 7:00 pm, but the 23rd and the 30th will also have a 2:00 pm matinee.