The Orpheum Theater in Phoenix needs funds to keep the theater and its 'friends' alive

The Orpheum Theater in Phoenix needs funds to keep the theater and its 'friends' alive

It's a building full of rich history, culture and art.

One of the oldest running theaters in Phoenix -- the Orpheum Theater.

"The Orpheum was built in 1929 by Harry Nace and Joe Rickards. They built this to be the theater of all theaters," said Laura Stenzel the Treasurer of Friends of the Orpheum Theater.

Broadway shows, movie showings and even animal-centric shows were part of the venue at the very beginning of the Orpheum’s opening.

The Orpheum has given so many memories to the community. Now, it needs our help.

"We definitely need your help, the community's help in raising funds to keep this theater alive," Stenzel said.

The theater is owned by the City of Phoenix, but is run by an organization called Friends of the Orpheum Theater. It's a volunteer organization that provides fundraising and education support for the theater.

Friends of the Orpheum helps keep the theater up to par and restored after all these years.

"The theater would probably start to fall a little bit in disrepair because the city doesn't always have the funds," said Stenzel.

One of the biggest fundraisers the theater has now through the month of October is ghost tours.

12 News decided to go on a tour and what we witnessed was surreal.

Our camera stopped recording for a moment and there was a faint "ding" sound that was lurking towards us while we were on stage.

We had to take a moment to stop the interview and do our own tiny investigation.

Reporter: " Do you hear that?"

Laura: “Whoa, yes I do.”

For about five minutes, Laura and I were trying to figure out where that sound came from and suddenly, it stopped.

Even the camera stopped recording.

After those encounters, the investigation led to the theater's balcony.

The balcony is one of the stops in the ghost tours, but it's known as one of the most active spots along the way.

"The ghost tours are just a great way to get involved with a theater and to experience the theater first-hand and maybe have a paranormal adventure too," said Stenzel.

One of the "friends" that you may stumble upon throughout the tour is Maddie.

"A gentleman was up here with his girlfriend and they were making out and he felt like "thump" on the back of his head from Maddie. There was no one else around," Stenzel said.

Maddie seems to be a very proper lady, according to Stenzel, and after thorough research, we learned Maddie is related to the founder of the Orpheum -- Harry Nace.

People have also seen Maddie float across the balcony and disappearing onto the stage.

The Orpheum Theater needs the help to keep not only the theater beautiful, but to keep its "friends" content.
If you would like to know more information about the ghost tours, click here

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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