On October 13, 1926, plans for the Orpheum Theatre were announced. Business was booming for the Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) theatre chain, and they needed a larger theatre. Built at a cost of $2 million, the Orpheum Theatre-Mississippi Hotel complex was considered an economic miracle. At the Theatre's opening on November 25, 1931, Davenport and the rest of the country were in the depths of the Great Depression.
On that Thanksgiving Eve, the opening night crowd watched a show that included five vaudeville acts and the movie comedy "Suicide Fleet", starring Bill Boyd, Ginger Rogers, Robert Armstrong, and James Gleason. Ginger Rogers sent a telegraphic signal from Hollywood that began the ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Theatre's opening. She also sent flowers from the garden of her Hollywood home to Mrs. George M. Bechtel, wife of the Theatre's developer.
The RKO was worthy of its grand opening celebration. The architect was A.S. Graven of Chicago, whose projects included the Drake Hotel ..