Memphis Orpheum & Chisca

Memphis Orpheum & Chisca

Regular price $947.00 Sale

Memphis Orpheum
In 1927 the “New Orpheum” was built to replace the fire-destroyed “Grand Orpheum” and to host vaudeville acts, variety shows, and some of the decades greatest entertainers. In the 1940s, motion pictures replaced vaudeville as preferred entertainment, and the Orpheum couldn’t survive the Great Depression. The Orpheum was purchased for just $75,000 and the theatre became the Malco, presenting first-run movies on its big screen.

In the 1970s many businesses had left downtown Memphis. The clubs of Beale Street succumbed to disrepair. Single-screen movie theaters were no longer profitable, and Malco decided to sell the Orpheum. Less than 50 years after its lavish revival, the theatre was in danger of demolition. A group of concerned citizens formed the Memphis Development Foundation to save the theatre in hopes of kick-starting a downtown reawakening. The foundation purchased the building, renamed it the Orpheum., and broadway shows soon returned.

The Orpheum Theatre also became one of the first buildings in Memphis to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Chisca
The Hotel Chisca on S. Main Street opened on Christmas Day in 1913. Constructed of concrete with a red brick facade, the nine-story hotel was named for Chisca, chief of the Chickasaw Indians who had lived in that area since before Hernando De Soto discovered the Mississippi River. Unlike the Peabody, the Chisca was considered a "second-tier" property, sturdy, solid, and well done. Billed as a "popular priced" hotel, it boasted 400 rooms, and catered to railroad travelers, employees, mule dealers, as well as entertainers.

In 1953 WHBQ relocated to the Hotel Chisca. From there, Dewey Phillips debuted Elvis' first recording, "That's All right, Mama" between 9:30-10:00 the night of July 8, 1954. The news reported, “The response was instantaneous. Forty-seven phone calls came in right away, along with fourteen telegrams — or was it 114 phone calls and forty-seven telegrams? He played the record seven times in a row! It seemed as if all of Memphis was listening and joining Dewey in the discovery of a new voice.”

24" X 32"

***LOCAL PICKUP ONLY.  Please select the "Pick up" Delivery method option during checkout.***