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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • TODD G. HIGDON: Orpheum theater memories

  • As I stepped outside of Charley’s Grill Wednesday in downtown Neosho, I looked over to where the old Orpheum Theater was. There were a lot of fond memories at that theater, my folks would take Greg and I there occasionally either on a Friday or Saturday night to catch the new movie.


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  • As I stepped outside of Charley’s Grill Wednesday in downtown Neosho, I looked over to where the old Orpheum Theater was. There were a lot of fond memories at that theater, my folks would take Greg and I there occasionally either on a Friday or Saturday night to catch the new movie.
    To this day, I can still remember the smell of freshly popped popcorn in the lobby. On a particular Saturday afternoon, we waited in line for a new movie, “Superman.” We lined up at the corner of Main and Wood streets, near the Sterling store. It was a hazy afternoon, and while waiting, my dad presented Greg and I with an action figure of Superman with removable red boots, and a cape flowing in the air. (I wish I still had that action figure). I am not for sure how long we waited in line, but once we got in, it was time for us to hit the concession stand, to get popcorn, soda pop and candy.
    As we entered the auditorium – and to the best of my knowledge – there were big red drapes. The seats inside the theater were comfortable at the time and for those who were on dates, there was also seats made for two. Also inside the theater, there was a balcony, which was neat to sit in.
    I couldn’t tell you how many movies we watched there. I do know I watched the original Star Wars, probably other Superman and Star Wars movies as well. One of the last times I was there was back in 1988, when I watched the movie “Moonstruck.”
    Later on in years, the theater was torn down. Today, there is nothing left of the building where the Orpheum was; it is a small parking lot.   
    I know the theater was there for a long, long time and other theaters were on the square before my time. For me, the Orpheum will always have fond memories.
    While covering an art show a few years ago, I saw a photograph of the Orpheum someone had done. The outside of the theater was all lit up, along with two movie posters telling what was playing that weekend. Maybe one of these days I will find that photo or other photos of the theater. Until then, I still have my memories.
    Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at tghigdon@neoshodailynews.com

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