Arson Strikes Orpheum

For the third time in about a year, the Orpheum Theatre in Madison, Wis., has been damaged by suspected arson. The latest fire on December 19th closed the theatre until at least early February and caused an estimated $100,000 damage.

Investigators for the city’s fire department say the latest fire was arson, as was one that was set in April. The latter caused $20,000 in damage and started in the first-floor bathroom janitor’s closet.

A third fire, also in December, began in another janitor’s closet and caused $1,000 in damage; Orpheum manager Merijoy Endrizzi-Ray suspects it was also caused by arson.

The Wisconsin Arson Insurance Council is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who set the fire.

Endrizzi-Ray said she intended to reopen the lobby and an onsite restaurant January 14th. Smoke damage was contained to the lobby, which is being repainted, she told Pollstar. The theatre itself was not damaged, Endrizzi-Ray said, and no shows have been affected.

Upcoming concerts include Keller Williams March 4th and Bob Weir & RatDog March 29th. Recent shows include Bruce Hornsby, Los Lonely Boys, and Wilco.