Beloved Movie Theater Returns To Cape Cod (Flack’s Article)

Posted on | July 22, 2013 | 1 Comment

Theater Owner Naomi Turner
After 2 years of planning and hard work, the historic Chatham Orpheum Theater (located in Chatham, Cape Cod) is being restored. Back in December, Flick and I got to interview the president of the Orpheum, Naomi Turner. And just a few weeks ago, I got an exclusive look inside the theater, itself. Read on for a sneak peak inside the restoration of a local landmark.

The Chatham Orpheum Theater originally opened in 1916. Every night, thrilled audiences filled the seats to see terrific silent films. In the late Twenties, the theater was fully renovated because of the new invention of talkie films. Still successful as ever, the public returned each week for wonderful cinema. Anyone who wanted escapism from the everyday life would come to the Orpheum.

Then came along the ever successful home video industry and in 1985, the theater was bought and became a music/live theater venue that hosted the likes of Ray Charles. In 1990 the building became a retail space and transformed into a CVS pharmacy store. Then, 21 years later in November 2011, CVS closed. And on that exact day a local Harwich multiplex closed.

A group of passionate individuals led by Naomi gathered to bring movies back to Chatham. (No other movie theater existed within 28 mile round trip of town.) Shortly after, work started on a renovation of the Orpheum…this time to make it into a movie theater, once again! Since then, 2.2 million dollars have been raised thanks to 3,000 donors.

The Chatham Orpheum TheaterThe theater will feature an eclectic range of programming. There will be a 162 seat theater featuring independent and 3-D children’s films, lectures, showings of opera and dance, sporting events, and speakers and current events. There will also be foreign films, documentaries, and educational programming in a 50 seat theater. Naomi Turner even told us that A Red Carpet Night for the Oscars is in store!

But movies won’t be all…Besides a concession stand (popcorn!), underneath the the theater there will be a restaurant Vers, which may even serve food based on the films screening.

A scene from Jaws (1975)And what will opening night be? A soft opening is planned for Friday, July 26, 2013. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 summer thriller Jaws is looking to be the soft opener. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the new coming of age indie The Way, Way Back will hopefully be opening in the first week. After that, a Grand Opening is planned for August.

It seems as though it may only be a few days until a much loved movie theater returns to Chatham.

For up-to date info check the Orpheum’s Facebook page. The theater’s website is currently getting an update.


One Response to “Beloved Movie Theater Returns To Cape Cod (Flack’s Article)”

  1. Steve Itkin
    July 23rd, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

    Love all this! Always excited when a theater is renovated. Your enthusiasm is exploding!

Leave a Reply