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Orpheum Theatre’s management deal with SMG effective Sept. 1

The interior of the Orpheum Theater
The interior of the Orpheum Theater The Wichita Eagle

The Orpheum Theatre’s deal with management company SMG is now official, Orpheum officials said Wednesday morning.

Earlier this month, the Orpheum’s interim CEO Gary Allerheiligen said the deal was imminent. Today, the theater announced that it will be effective Sept. 1.

The agreement means that the Orpheum’s booking of shows and accounting will be handled by SMG, the same Philadelphia-based company that manages Intrust Bank Arena for Sedgwick County. In addition to arenas, the company manages more than 60 performing arts theaters like the Orpheum across the country.

Though SMG will now book the Orpheum’s shows, community-based organizations such as the Tallgrass Film Festival and Gridiron will continue to be able to use the theater, officials said.

The Orpheum was built in 1922, and its restoration has been underway for nearly three decades. To date, the 1,200-seat theater has gotten a new roof, renovated restrooms and lobby, marquee and sound system. The multimillion-dollar total restoration that theater officials have planned would include tearing out the wood floor, replacing all the seats and repairing and repainting the crumbling plaster.

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