The Beacham in the 1930s

History of the Beacham

Last updated on July 07, 2021

The Beacham has a legacy that flows deep below Orange Avenue. Built by Braxton Beacham Sr. in 1921, it was Orlando’s first theater and a popular stage hosting vaudeville stars in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Rumor has it that after performing at the Beacham, stars could avoid the crowds by using a trap door tunnel to get across Orange Avenue and back to their rooms at the Angebilt Hotel. Part escape route, part hidden storage, many also claim it was the perfect underground vault for alcohol during the prohibition years.

Some notable performers of Beacham Theater include B.B King, Ray Charles, The Police, and Lauryn Hill. Today, Beacham remains standing as one of the oldest theaters in the downtown Orlando area.


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