Behind the Scenes of Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre


-Hey, guys.
It’s me, Arthur Meyer. I’m the sketch supervising
writer here at “The Tonight Show.” And I’m gonna give you
a backstage tour of the historic Orpheum Theatre. Can you see my breath?
We don’t even need to edit that in and post. It’s really seriously very cold. I’m wearing twice as much
underwear as I normally wear, which is I’m wearing
six pairs of underwear. I normally like to wear three. So, we’re gonna take you
on a tour. It’ll be fun!
Yeah! Right now, guys, we’re
in the historic lobby of the Orpheum Theatre. This theatre —
you might not know this — was built in 1921. And fun fact:
Bob Dylan owned the theatre between 1979 and 1988, a period of time
that I refer to as the ’80s. So, let’s go inside.
Let’s check this out. Here we see
our staff hard at work. Sorry, guys.
[ Lowered voice ] Our staff is hard at work. We’ve set up
multiple workstations, and this is the continuation
of the lobby. Right over here, we got —
-Really, right now? Come on!
Can’t you see we’re busy? Dude, come on.
-This is good. We’re getting a real sense of
Keith McPhee’s true personality. -Come on, man. -That’s [indistinct]
That’s Keith McPhee right there. Two wonderful
“Tonight Show” staffers. -I like your belt.
-Oh, thanks. -Yeah.
-You get a shot of that, Noah? I haven’t been taught how
to wear a scarf. [ Laughter ] This is so crazy.
They must’ve used to have done so many weird shows here.
It was a vaudeville theatre. Is that right, Noah?
-Mm-hmm. -It was a vaudeville theatre.
-Largest in the U.S. -The largest vaudeville theatre
in the U.S. at the time. Here we have a sound board
right here. Oh, sorry.
That’s a lighting board. I’m glad that Keith told me
it was a sound board. Otherwise — that it was
a lighting board. Otherwise, you guys
would’ve thought it was a — -It’s okay.
-Thanks, Noah. Thank you. Guys, we’re just gonna give you
a little peek, but check it out. This is just the lower floor
of the Orpheum Theatre. 2,600 people can sit
in this theatre. Let’s check out the balcony. This is exciting. I’m more of a balcony person
than a main-floor person. What about you, Noah? -I think I like the balcony.
I think second balcony’s underrated.
-Uh, yeah. I think I kinda like this place. You should say, “Yeah.” This is kind of
a fun trivia fact. We were gonna do the show
in just a 20-person black box theater,
but it was booked. Someone was doing
their one-man show. Now, this is very exciting.
We’re up on the top floor. Noah and I just climbed
to the top. Check this out.
This is where they keep the marquis letters.
Look, an “R.” Isn’t that crazy? They keep all the
marquis letters there. You got an “M” right there,
so you got “Mr.” Mr. 8, which is a mystery. Which kind of makes you wonder,
“Wow, how did all these numbers and letter get up here?
It’s kind of a mystery.” See that?
It’s a “The.” And then over here, we got what
Noah thought were ashtrays, but they’re
actually periods, probably. So, when you see the marquis
outside, you’ll now know, “Oh, my God.
I have personally seen the room where
the letters come from.” -Do you have a favorite letter?
-Of the alphabet? -Mm-hmm.
-My favorite letter of the alphabet is
probably “J,” I think. Or “Q.” Hey, guys.
It’s halfway through the video right now.
I hope you’re enjoying the tour. Just wanted to see if
we can do anything for you. If not, it’s totally fine. But let me know
if you want something. We’ll get it for you.
Hey, guys. We’re back here in the basement
of the Orpheum Theatre. I feel like I’m getting closer
to knowing exactly how to wear a scarf, and I found some
pretty cool stuff back here. Look, this is a lineup
of some old shows that they used to do
at the Orpheum decades ago. You could just buy a ticket
and go see as many shows as you wanted to in one day. And look at
this thing right here. This thing — You would put
your ticket in here, and that’s how they would know
if seat C8 was taken, if you put your ticket
right in there. Well, actually, “S”
is pretty good, too. And now that I think about it,
you can’t forget about “L.” And then, this whole thing
is like an old air-conditioning system.
Is that right? -Yeah.
-Unbelievable. Their old
air-conditioning system. And they used to heat
this theatre with coal. I think that “A” through “D”
are also really good. Over there is a sword used from
the Orpheum Theatre’s production of “Camelot” from over,
like, 50 years ago. Oh, my God.
You know what’s really good? “X.” “X” is just cool. Well, “Y” is also good. I’m gonna haunt the opera!
Ah, ha ha ha ha ha! One, two, three. “Z,” can’t forget about “G.”
“F,” really good. “Caution: low pipes.”
Noah, be very careful. For those who don’t know,
Noah’s behind the camera. Oh, “H” and “I.”
Those are definitely two of my 26 favorites. if we go this way,
we’ll see that there are washer and dryers,
because apparently, this place also
a laundromat? It’s like, what?
I thought this was a theatre, and it turns out
it’s a laundromat. It’s like, what? Okay, I’ll be over here
with the normal people. -Are you upset about it? -I’m not upset about it.
It’s just a little weird. Probably “J.”
We’ll stick with “J.” Thank you for joining me,
Arthur Meyer, on this tour. Thanks to my sweet man,
Noah [indistinct] for shooting it. Noah, do you wanna get
a quick shot of yourself? Look at him!
Look at that face! -Hi, everyone. -And one more fun fact
before we go. This theatre was originally
called the Hennepin Theatre. I mean, how cool is that? Yes! It’s a little funky bass.

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