Orpheum Theater

A nearly century-old Beaux Arts theater that hosted vaudeville acts, silent films, movies, Mardi Gras balls, and countless concerts.

Overview & Objectives

The Orpheum Theater is a nearly century-old Beaux Arts theater located in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District. Built in 1918, the iconic space has hosted vaudeville acts, silent films, movies, Mardi Gras balls, and countless concerts.

After being closed for years due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the theater was purchased in 2014 by Roland and Mary Von Kurnatowski, owners/founders of Tipitina’s and the Tipitina’s Foundation, and Capital partner, developer Dr. Eric George of ERG Enterprises.  The Orpheum was thoughtfully restored and re-opened nearly 10 years to the day after the hurricane’s landfall in August of 2015.

The theater now provides New Orleanians with classic performances by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) while introducing new and exciting musical genres to those seeking a unique experience. More than a stunning historical structure, this reimagined space brings an entirely new tier of entertainment and event space to Downtown New Orleans and enhances the quality of life for those living and working in the Downtown area.

Bond Moroch was hired in August 2015 to lead Grand Re-Opening public relations efforts, re-introducing the Orpheum Theater to New Orleans after lying dormant for 10 years. After hosting the event, Bond Moroch continued to work with the theater, providing ongoing media relations efforts for upcoming shows in a variety of genres.

Our objectives for the year (August 2015–August 2016) included the following:

  • To drive Orpheum show ticket sales and growth
  • To secure significant local, regional and select national media surrounding the Grand Re-Opening of the Orpheum Theater
  • To manage strategic guest attendance for a Grand Re-Opening event
  • To secure media attendance at Orpheum shows throughout the year
  • To secure preview and post-show media coverage (preview and reviews) for all Orpheum shows throughout the year

Target audiences for the Grand Re-Opening Event included:

  • Target national and local media
  • VIP strategic and community partners
  • VIP community and political leaders

Target audiences for sustained PR throughout the year included:

  • Target national and local media
  • Music enthusiasts in the New Orleans community

Approach

For the Grand Re-Opening Event Celebration, Bond Moroch was responsible for media list creation, securing on-site media attendance, on-site media execution and ongoing media cultivation.

In preparation for each show announcement, Bond Moroch was responsible for compiling all press release materials and strategically pitching media to secure thoughtful stories surrounding the announcement. Our goal was to secure preview features to increase ticket sales and on-site media attendance to secure post-event features, which promoted the theater’s sound quality and overall atmosphere as a top-tier music venue in New Orleans. Through secured media coverage and attendance, Bond’s goal was to increase interest for future shows.

Bond also worked to position the Orpheum Theater team as thought leaders in the community by finding strategic opportunities (award nominations, lifestyle features, etc.) where not only the Orpheum could shine, but also the theater’s leaders—General Manager, Owners, etc.

Bond curated a highly targeted list of arts and entertainment media on the national, regional and local level. Bond developed a strategic invitation list for the Orpheum’s Grand Re-Opening Event, including community influencers, leaders and key media. For sustained public relations efforts, Bond continued aggressive media outreach for Orpheum shows throughout the year. Bond tailored pitches to each writer/producer/photographer, offering exclusive angles to appeal to specific media. Bond had already established strong relationships with local and select national music media from past work; therefore, Bond built on its current relationships to secure sustained coverage throughout the year.

Results & Impact

Our highly-targeted media relations and community relations campaign proved successful, solidifying the Orpheum Theater as a top music venue in New Orleans at its one-year anniversary celebration in August 2016. Our campaign succeeded in not only increasing general awareness of the music venue, but also in bringing music lovers—both local and from around the world—to enjoy shows, with multiple sold-out performances. 

Highlights from our 2015-2016 Campaign include:

  • The Grand Re-Opening Event:
    • Secured 8 private media tours leading up to the event to serve as preview features
    • Secured 30 media outlets in attendance at Grand Re-Opening Event
      • Selection of outlets include Getty Images, USA Today, Thomson Reuters News, Reuters America News, Yahoo!, WHERE Magazine, Associated Press, Art + Design Magazine and CBS National
  • Sold out Orpheum shows include:
    • Orpheum’s first music show since re-opening, with alternative rock band Wilco
    • The post-New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival late night series— featuring The Meters, The Revivalists and Galactic and JJ Grey & Mofro
    • Comedy legend David Cross
    • Rapper Kevin Gates
    • Rock group Deftones
    • Through the Orpheum’s success, a new partnership formed with popular booking agency Winter Circle Productions, who has brought a new music genre to the Orpheum and multiple sold-out shows, including electronic music acts Kraftwerk and Flume and rapper G-Eazy
  • From August 2015-August 2016, Bond secured more than 480 media features on Orpheum Theater shows
  • Secured significant local media attention from outlets including The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, New Orleans Advocate, Gambit Weekly, Where Y’At, Offbeat, WGNO-TV, WWL-TV, WVUE-TV, WDSU-TV, I Heart Nola, My Spilt Milk, NolaVie, GoNola, Biz New Orleans, and more.
  • Secured community awards for the Orpheum Theater, including the Downtown Nola Awards, and for key Orpheum staff, including Kristin Shannon recognized as one of New Orleans CityBusiness 2016 “Women of the Year.”

By securing national and local media coverage surrounding the Grand Re-Opening event and through ongoing show promotion, Bond helped the Orpheum successfully relaunch in the New Orleans market and sell out multiple shows throughout the year. Bond’s work on the Grand Re-Opening event and sustained media relations efforts throughout the year exceeded expectations for secured coverage on the Orpheum and its principals.

New Orleans HQ

3308-B Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115

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