May 6, 1974
Old Orange theater to stage live shows
Struthers, Swit, others to be tapped
ORANGE - The rehabilitation of the old Orange Theatre as a completely
refurbished legitimate theatre is now in progress.
The former vaudeville house which at one time was a unit of the famous
"Pantages Circuit," will be given a new lease on life and will
be called the Orange Playhouse, bringing to Orange County residents
Broadway plays, drama, comedy and musicals, starring some of the top
performers in theatre, television and motion pictures.
The Orange Playhouse will present 32 weeks of legitimate stage, plus an
additional 20 weeks of concerts, civic and community functions, and some
closed circuit TV schedules, if available.
Producers Al Edwards and Chris Ryan have been considering Dom Deluise,
Maclane Stevenson, Bill Bixby, Sally Struthers, Lorrita Swit, and others
to star in such famous productions as "Last of the Red Hot
Lovers," "Born Yesterday," "Owl and the
Pussycat," and "Promises."
Improvements to be made in the new Orange Playhouse include general
renovation but retention of the art nouveau design of the marquee,
moving the front entrance to the original sidewalk frontage, in order to
add the present outdoor foyer to the interior; turning the old movie
house popcorn and candy snack area into a smart bar; and re-carpeting in
the original mode of the 30's.
Other improvements include rebuilding the stage, new mechanical features
with the most modern stage lighting available, and a complete remodeling
of the dressing room area beneath the stage.
A lavish new curtain, and interior painting will carry out a brown and
gold color theme to set off the original mica chandelier in the main
Also reminiscent of the past is the original pipe organ, said to be
one of the three of its kind in existence. Huge beveled plate glass
mirrors on the stair landings, will also be retained as part of the
decor of bygone years.