From the 1928 construction of the new Orpheum to the construction of the Halloran Centre, generous Mid-Southerners have been at the heart of Main and Beale. With gifts large and small, through donations and patronage, the Orpheum Theatre Group has stood the test of time thanks to the people in its community.
Get to know some of our donors!
Don Scobey wears a lot of Orpheum hats. He’s a donor, a season ticket holder, and a member of FOTO, the Orpheum’s volunteer usher group. We recently talked with him about what he loves most about the Theatre.
You’ve been a Friend of the Orpheum (FOTO) Member for the past 6 years. What do you like most about volunteering?
I just love working the shows! I’m a relationship kind of guy, so when folks come to the Orpheum for the first time and I get to help introduce them to the theatre, it gives me a chance to connect with people. And I’ve developed very close friendships with the other ushers – we’re like a family.
You’re a lifelong Memphian who’s been coming to the Orpheum since the 60s. Tell us more.
Back then, it was a Malco. I remember taking a date to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969. I was trying to make a good impression and the Orpheum was so cool, it’s always been one my favorite places. After college, I worked for a company who used tickets to entertain clients. I’ve had season ticket since my children were small and my oldest daughter Samantha and I have a subscription together. All three of my kids enjoy it, but Samantha really loves it like I do.
And you bought those seats through our Name A Seat campaign!
Yes! I wanted to support the Orpheum. But I also wanted to honor my daughter because going to the theatre is our thing – we always do it together. And do you know what I put on my little seat plates? Hers says: “Samantha, my Broadway buddy” and mine says: “Don, Broadway daddy”.
On top of everything else, you’re an Orpheum donor. What inspires you to give to a theatre you already do so much for?
I saw a report in 2018 that only 5% of charitable donations were directed to the Arts. Without public support, the Arts really don’t exist. The Orpheum is a treasure, so I donate what I can. I love that the Orpheum has started programs like Camp SAY and Mending Hearts Camp in the past few years, and all the arts education programs happening at the Theatre – that’s the value theatre brings to the community.
Nicholas and Tymikia Glenn joined the Orpheum family as season ticket holders and became donors the next year They are truly committed to the Theatre, driving two hours each way to get here from their home. We talked to them to learn more about why they love the Orpheum.