Sioux Falls, South Dakota
315 N Phillips Avenue,
Falls, South Dakota 57104.
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The Orpheum Theater,
which was erected in the late 1890s to 1900 time period, was originally
used as a vaudeville theater. The theater has a large auditorium with
a balcony, a stage and back- stage area. It seats 688 people. In the 1920s,
it was used as a movie theater. It became the new home for the performances
of The Sioux Falls Community playhouse, in 1954, when the Community Playhouse
Assoc. bought the theater, saving it from going into disrepair, giving
it a great future, as a place for the arts to shine in Sioux Falls.
The Sioux Falls Community
Playhouse's Main Stage Series produces five plays per season, and all
performances are held in The Orpheum Theater. The family series does three
and the Studio Series has two performances each season. Season's tickets
and single ticket purchases are available.
The Orpheum Theatre is also
host to many other cultural events. Nearly 100,000 patrons visit the Orpheum
Theater yearly for over 100 events including concerts, private parties,
plays, musicals, school functions and other community-oriented events.
An unknown ghost, known as
"LARRY" haunts the playhouse and on rare occasions, has tried
to communicate with the living, but has only managed to scare them instead.
1) Late one, very cold October
night in 1959, an actor, by the name of Ray, was alone on the theatre's
stage, putting in extra rehearsal time for an upcoming play. While walking
through his staging, the script called for him to look up at the balcony.
While doing so, he saw a growing, blue, pulsating light with a male apparition
in the center, who was either pointing at him or waving him up to the
balcony. At the same time, Ray felt he was in the middle of a cold air
blast from an open freezer door. Ray quickly left and locked the door.
LARRY took this as a rejection and was angry. On arriving the next day,
all the newly wired fuses were found to be deliberately blown. Also, a
sandbag, from above the stage, fell on Ray twice, which happened during
the dress rehearsal and on opening night, knocking Ray out both times,
despite careful precautions by the stage crew.
2) 1972 - Again, late at
night, a technical director, Jack, was trying to ready the theater stage
for the children who were coming to rehearse for an upcoming children's
production, which was to start rehearsals the next day. As it was necessary
to have a very clean stage area, Jack was carefully sweeping the stage
from the left to the right of the stage. While sweeping, he heard a sound
behind him. He looked a few steps behind him and saw an old, late 1890's, tin-type picture of a bearded, 30ish man, with rosy cheeks about
the size of a postage stamp. Jack put the mystery picture up on the light
board, after turning on all the stage lights and saw no one living, who
could've dropped the picture. After feeling a cloud of coldness settle
over him, he left the building quickly, totally spooked. No one knows
who the man in the picture was, but most assume it is a picture of LARRY.
It stayed on the light board for some time before it mysteriously disappeared.
Jack didn't stay long enough
to find out what LARRY was up to, by giving his picture to Jack. Perhaps,
LARRY was trying to have a less flashy way to communicate with Jack, to
introduce himself to Jack by giving him a picture of himself first, before
trying to communicate with Jack directly.
WHO WAS "LARRY"?
No one knows for sure who
he was. Newspaper records were destroyed in a fire years ago. Three theories
1) He was a construction
worker who was killed while the theater was being built.
2) He was a stage hand
who was killed during a vaudeville show.
3) He was having an affair
with a married woman and was killed in the balcony by the jealous husband.
4) This 3rd theory may
be the most likely story, as Ray saw LARRY in the balcony when LARRY
wanted Ray to come up to the balcony, to maybe directly communicate
with him, as Ray had some psychic abilities.
A lot of theaters have their
own unseen patrons, and so does The Orpheum Theater. LARRY will probably
haunt this theater until he can successfully communicate with the living,
and say what is on his mind. As contact with LARRY is rare, he will probably
be there for a long time.