The Orpheum was built on the site of the Boston Music Hall in 1852. In 1900 the building was nearly gutted and rebuilt within the old walls for conversion into a vaudeville theatre. It reopened on February 12, 1905 as the Empire Theatre. When Percy Williams took over the theatre on September 3, 1906 it was renamed the Orpheum. It was then sold to Marcus Loew in 1910. Loew bought additional land and hired architect Thomas Lamb to design a new theatre. The new theatre was designed in the Adam style with expanded capacity.