The Orpheum is one of Vancouver’s most iconic venues, and everyone has the chance to explore it in a free tour through the historic building.
For information about the tours and to book your spot (for free), visit the Vancouver Civic Theatres website.
Tours of Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver has been in operation for nearly a century. It was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979 and while it has undergone renovations the majority of the original design has been preserved.
The Orpheum continues to host shows today with a capacity of over 2,500 people, making it one of the biggest theatre venues in the city. The building is the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Artists from around the globe also perform at the Orpheum when they tour through Vancouver.
There is plenty of history in the building and from July to September in 2023 you can explore it with free guided tours. These tours are offered by the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and offer a unique look at how the Orpheum became what it is today, including fun stories about some of its most famous guests.
Dates and Times
The guided tours begin on July 6th in 2023. They take place on Thursdays and Saturdays until some time in September. Each tour runs from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. As mentioned they are entirely free to attend. It’s not necessary to register in advance but there is the chance that there won’t be space for walk-in patrons if you don’t register. If there is space, however, then all walk-ins are accepted.
The tours begin outside the building on Granville Street. They wind through different sections of the building, although depending on the day some areas might not be entirely accessible if the venue is being used for a show that night.
Those who take part in one of the tours learn about the history of the building itself, from its early days as a vaudeville house, to its use as a movie and TV set, to the present day. Some of the biggest stars in music have passed through the venue and left behind some fun behind-the-scenes tales.
Along with the stories there’s also the chance to appreciate the architecture of the Orpheum. The building was designed by renowned architect Marcus Priteca who designed well over a hundred theatres across North America. There are nearly 150 crystal chandeliers, many grand staircases, decorated ceilings and other intricate designs to see.
For more information, visit the Vancouver Civic Theatres website.
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