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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, August 15, 2022

A few words of advice to whoever eventually takes over The Orpheum

Looks like the Orpheum Theater, an icon on the 200 block of State Street, will soon be shutting its doors after being mismanaged straight into the ground. The details of the demise of the Orpheum aren’t exactly clear to me, but I know that a lost liquor license, shoddy booking and inconsistency in every other aspect of running the company surely didn’t help. This is an open letter to whoever sinks the time and money into the next iteration of the Orpheum theater, conveniently organized for you, future owners.

One: Please, don’t do anything stupid. Now, I know that this sounds fairly evident, but given the behavior of the previous management, I feel as if it needs to be said. If you feel yourself falling behind on loans, or you think that your liquor license application might not be best served written in crayon, do yourself a favor and nip these problems in the bud. Have a competent accountant or at least know someone who owns a calculator. Buy some file cabinets, then use them. Maybe get one of those fancy desks that has built-in folders for incoming and outgoing papers. If all else fails, throw a fundraising pajama party a la Kid ‘N Play’s House Party 2; make sure to have them in attendance.

Two: Realize the shortcomings and strengths of owning the Orpheum. It is a bar/concert venue/restaurant/theater. Unfortunately this seems to create more problems than it adds in diversified revenue streams. Just because you have four aspects to your business doesn’t mean you can half-ass each one and end up with two whole asses. That’s unfortunately not how it works. Bring in music acts that are appropriate to the size of the stage and the location of the theater, but don’t be too limited either. The Found vs. Found event held last year was nothing if not unconventional, and it was an awesome and seemingly successful event. The most important advice I can give to you is that you’re going to have to spend a lot of time figuring out what events work and what won’t work at this venue. Keep putting on events. Scaling back only means that it will take you longer to find the winning formula. Yes, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money. No, there are no guarantees.

Three: Be open consistently. This will require a consistent and dedicated staff, and after the awkward mismanagement of the past few years, you might have to do a lot of re-building. Hire younger students and give them incentives to stick around for multiple years.

Four: Don’t be dumb. I really can’t emphasize this one enough.

David is a senior majoring in English literature.

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