From: Dennis James, March 2005
The Sioux City Orpheum was designed by the nationally known Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp and
constructed in 1927 as part of the Orpheum Circuit.
This once-opulent vaudeville and moving picture house boasted a large 2,650-seat, three-story
auditorium complete with Wurlitzer pipe organ, half circle boxes, hand carved detailing,
gilded ornamentation, several crystal chandeliers, and a hand painted ceiling.
Throughout the years, the Orpheum has been used for symphony performances, ballet, special attractions,
and hosted entertainers such as Fred Astaire, Tallulah Bankhead, and Katherine Hepburn.
In order to save the Wurlitzer from destruction during many of the remodeling projects in the 1950ís and 1980ís,
the Sioux City Womenís Club moved the organ to the Sioux City Auditorium in 1971.
The Darrow Pipe Organ in Onawa, Iowa has been in the process of restoring the organ over the
course of the last few years, putting in over 8,000 man-hours on the job.
A small group of community leaders raised the funds necessary to do the restoration.
The organ will has three manuals, 20 ranks, 1,700 pipes, and 210 stops.