ORPHEUM, 138 Cross Street, 773 seats
The Orpheum is a classic story of architectural reuse: a 19th century church converted to a 20th century theatre and now a 21st century luxury condominium. As a theatre, it replaced the First Universalist Church, opening in 1916 as the Cross Street Olympia. It changed hands several times, with Wilbur Peterson being its most famous owner. Known as the "bughouse," it was a mecca for children from Brickbottom and other poor neighborhoods who often bargained with the manager for the price of admission. When it closed in the 1950s it became Bennett Plumbing and Heating Supply and in 2001 was turned into a luxury condominium called the Sanctuary.
The photograph is from 1941, though the features being shown, "My Favorite Wife" with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne and "Hot Steel" with Richard Arlen and Andy Devine, were both from the year before, a testimony to the theatre's second-run status. Photo courtesy Theatre Historical Society of America.