“1928” Keith Albee Gala & The Orpheum Society

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The Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center presents “1928,” a roaring 20s-themed fundraiser to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the historic theater at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

Held at the Keith-Albee, the fundraiser cost is $100 per person with all proceeds going towards restoration projects. There will be live big band music, tap dancing, music from the theater’s organ, a vaudeville comedy routine, drinks and appetizers and a unique auction of Keith-Albee memorabilia and original artifacts including seating, signage, other memorabilia.

Tickets are on sale now through the Marshall Artists Series office. Call 304-696-6656 or stop by the MAS office inside the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on campus at Marshall University. Tickets are also available at the Old Village Roaster coffee shop next door to the Keith on 4th Avenue.

Also, tickets and donations can be sent via check written to: Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, and mailed to MPE Entertainment, 423 6th Ave., Huntington, WV 25701. For more information, call MPE at 304-697-4222.

Join the event’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/572129699503416/

The Orpheum Society

Orpheum Information
PosterIn order to insure a bright future for the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center, a unique entity has been formed to assist in this most deserving project – The Orpheum Society.

This organization takes its name from the famed “Orpheum Circuit,” a chain of Vaudeville and movie houses that operated from 1886 through 1927, when it merged with the Keith-Albee Theatre chain, ultimately becoming the Radio-Keith- Orpheum (RKO) Company. RKO became one of the major Hollywood studios of the 1930s and ‘40s. Interestingly, the dressing rooms at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center are all named for stops on the original Orpheum Circuit.

Membership in The Orpheum Society is available to persons who desire to become charter members of this vehicle which will be a vital part of the long-term renovation and revitalization of the Keith-Albee. Charter memberships may be purchased for a one-time gift of $1,000.00, payable prior to November 23, 2013.

After that date, membership fees will be significantly increased.
The initial proceeds will, in part, help support a significant fund-raising event at the theatre on November 23, 2013.

The benefits of membership in to the exclusive Orpheum Society are as follows:

  • Invitations to private receptions
  • Advance notice of upcoming events
  • Opportunity to purchase tickets prior to “on sale” dates for select performances
  • Discounted pricing for select special events
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded persons who share your passion for restoring national treasures
  • Names on honorary plaque at the Keith-Albee
  • Other benefits developed by fellow members of The Orpheum Society

For more information call MPE at 304-697-4222.


November 1, 2013
A little taste of Vaudeville will appear at the 1928 Gala with direct ties to Huntington and the Keith Albee Theater.


After cocktails and a chance to peruse the silent auction the theater doors will open to the music of the vintage Wurlitzer theater organ. Most of the public have never heard this wonderful instrument in operation. Did you know that on the walls on the left and right side house the organ rooms?

After a few surprise presentations on stage we will welcome original Keith Albee heritage when Nancy Carter will present a tap dancing show to recreate what patrons used to see when coming to an original KA show. Her father performed at the Keith Albee on the original circuit so having this performance will be a great addition to the lineup!

Taking the stage next will be an act that you will not want to miss. When featured live entertainment began there were certain skills and tricks that were performed only by one person and that person had to captivate the audience and leave them surprised and entertained! We are excited to have a New Orleans and Las Vegas favorite, street performer and original busker, Bobby Maverick! You may have caught a taste of his act opening for Kevin Pollak recently in Huntington. You won’t want to miss Bobby’s full show as he brings his sharp wit and stunning magic to the stage at the 1928 Gala!

Stay tuned for a few more big announcements!

Entertainment Update:

November 14, 2013
The first hour will feature a guest reception in the ornate lobby and mezzanine featuring live period-specific music by the Backyard Dixie Stompers. At 8:00 the auditorium doors will open and guests will be treated to music on the theater’s vintage Wurlitzer organ as they are seated for a brief stage presentation.

That will be followed by an amazing tap dance presentation for the first time in many decades. The dance mistress, Nancy Carter, is the proud daughter of feature performer and Vaudeville legend Bob Carter who dance as a feature act on that very stage in 1928.

The Vaudeville theme will continue with a performance by comedian/magician/escape artist Bobby Maverick. His show will close with a patented trick made famous by the renowned Harry Houdini, who was also rumored to have been a performer in the early years of the Keith Albee.

The evening will continue with dancing under the stars of the Keith Albee with the RKO Orchestra, comprised of veteran performers from the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Band, Count Basie Orchestra, and many other name big bands.

The 1928 fundraising gala is the first of fifteen events to be held annu- ally, culminating in the 100th anniversary celebration in 2028. All profits will be applied to the budget for on-going operations, renovation, and restoration projects. It is hoped that the theater will be completely restored to its original splendor by that landmark date.

Media Coverage:

November 24, 2013
We would certainly like to thank all of our media partners for the wonderful coverage of The 1928 Gala. In addition to the links below please keep an eye out on Huntington, WV’s local channel 24 for continuous coverage regarding the 1928 Gala project until next year’s event.

The Herald Dispatch
Click here for the article

Herald Dispatch Gallery
Click here for the gallery

Click here for the gallery

WCHS Video Coverage
Click here for the story

Photo Gallery:

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