Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RKO Orpheum and Roosevelt Hotel

RKO Orpheum and Roosevelt Hotel
Ignatius tricked George into watching his hot dog cart while he went to the RKO Orpheum theater and watched a movie. The theater was built in 1918 and opened in 1921. It sits at 129 University Place.
It was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and remains closed to this day. It has been purchased by a Dallas businessman who has plans to restore and reopen it.
Here are a couple of photos I took of the place in August 2008...

Here's a photo of the Orpheum in happier times (I think this is from the mid-1990's)...

When Ignatius came out of the theater, George was waiting for him in front of the Roosevelt Hotel. The Roosevelt actually sits across the street from the Orpheum, and its address is 123 Baronne St.
The hotel was built in 1893 and was originally called The Grundewald. It went through some major expansions and then was purchased by a group of New Orleans investors in 1923. At that time, they changed the name to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt.
Here’s a postcard showing the hotel as it appeared after a 1908 expansion…

In 1965, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts purchased the Roosevelt and renamed it “The Fairmont.” However, most New Orleans natives never called it that and continued calling it the Roosevelt.
The Roosevelt Hotel was also heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Renovation work started and then stopped after engineers realized exactly how severe the damage was.
There are current plans to renovate the hotel, return its “Roosevelt” name, and reopen it in the spring of 2009.

Here are a couple of photos I took of the hotel in August 2008...

And here’s a photo showing the Orpheum across the street from the Roosevelt…

1 comment:

  1. Both the Roosevelt and Orpheum are open again as of Oct 2015. The Orpheum is a bit more fine-arts now though ;)