TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Orpheum Theatre in downtown Twin Falls has been in use for 99 years. However, due to COVID-19, the theatre closed its doors in early March. Despite the closure, the current managers are taking full advantage of the opportunity to renovate the building.
The managers have wanted to do a renovation since they acquired the building in 2014. Using funds the theater collected before the closure, the project will bring the building back to its 1920's roots with modern amenities.
Manager Jared Johnson said, "we're doing what we can to marry the old 1920s and new 2020s together. Having that real sense of old classical style from the vaudeville era and the modern conveniences of today all in one."
There will be several new additions to the theatre to make it more delicate and comfortable for patrons. There will be a new paint job to mirror the original look the building once had and a refurbished balcony seating that will have allow for more space and better chairs. There will also be the addition of more women's restrooms, which will occupy the entire second floor, and the men's will be on the first floor.
There is a heavy focus on the lobby and the front of the building to allow for more room when purchasing tickets or refreshments with expanding the walls.
"Typically, there would be some a traffic jam somewhat beforehand because the concessions line would be over to the wall, and the lines to get in the place would be going the theater proper," said Johnson.
The windows on the front of the building will also help to make operations run smoother. One will be the new area where people can purchase tickets, and the other will have posters and information for upcoming events and performances.
There are still discussions about bringing back the marquee sign with city officials, but Johnson is excited to have the theatre doors open soon. Despite there being no set date, there is hope for a reopening before 2021 so people can experience the reimagined aesthetic.
"This is a treasure of the area and to have it coming back to its original, mostly original conceptualized form, there's something really wholesome about that to me," said Johnson.