Recently, I had the chance to tour the latest addition to downtown's arts scene: the Orpheum's Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education.
What you'll see above and below are photos I took during the tour when it was still under construction, but the building is nearly ready. Today the Orpheum will announce the first events to take place inside the brand-spanking-new building. Spoiler alert: it's a semi-monthly indie film series.
First, let me tell you about the Halloran Centre. If you want to jump to the film series lineup and info, click here.
The Centre is primarily an education centre, so it has plenty of classroom spaces, areas for dance classes, crafts and activities, and a stage made with students in mind. The Orpheum's education programs host thousands of students each year, and now they'll have the space they need.
Above: View of the theatre from the stage, which you'll notice is level with the front row for a more intimate feel. The Halloran Centre's theatre sound system is state-of-the-art.
The Centre also has different spaces for events and meetings. There will be a cocktail lounge downstairs off the main lobby (pictured above, still under construction obviously) as well as several meeting rooms, including an upscale, spacious boardroom style space upstairs.
View of the impressive marble lobby looking down from upstairs.
The boardroom has a great view of another downtown landmark that will be (re)open soon: the Chisca Hotel.
Above is an artist's rendering of the front exterior of the Halloran Centre, since there was too much construction for me to get a good photo. It looks pretty much just like this, though.
The Halloran Centre will be complete in September. During events, that glass-front space is going to really shine from the street, and I think it's going to be a great addition to the downtown scene in terms of both appearance and culture.
Want to see it for yourself? One of the first events open to the public at the Centre will be the Southern Circuit Independent Film Series, which begins on September 9. There is a community event planned for September 12, and as soon as I get more info on that, I'll be sure to share it with you.
Also, Indie Memphis announced that it will host several events during this year's festival (Nov. 3 – 10) at the Halloran Centre.
The Southern Circuit Independent Film Series features six documentary films shown in the theatre of the Halloran Centre in downtown Memphis (right next to the Orpheum). All of the movies start at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 per film and go on sale on August 14 at 10 a.m. at orpheum-memphis.com. Be sure to hang around after each film for a Q&A with filmmakers.
September 9, 2015: "I Will Dance" – This inspirational documentary that follows young people from Selma, Alabama on a theatre trip to New York City
October 21, 2015: "1971" – In March 1971, eight citizens broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole and disseminated classified information, but were never caught. Now they tell their stories.
November 11, 2015: "Imba Means Sing" – Three children from the slums of Uganda go on a world tour with the African Children's Choir.
February 24, 2016: "Dorothea Grange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning" – Look behind the lens of the iconic American photographer.
March 9, 2016: "American Made Movie" – Compares the glory days of U.S. manufacturing with the industry during today's era of tech and globalization.
April 6, 2016: "Althea" – The story of Althea Gibson, the first African American to play and win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills.
203 S. Main St. Memphis, Tennessee 38103