FoundedJanuary 28, 1928; 95 years ago (January 28, 1928)
United States
DefunctOctober 1928; 95 years ago (October 1928)
SuccessorRKO Pictures
HeadquartersDelaware, United States

The Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation was the owner of a chain of vaudeville and motion picture theatres. It was formed by the merger of the holdings of Benjamin Franklin Keith and Edward Franklin Albee II and Martin Beck's Orpheum Circuit.[1]


The company was incorporated in Delaware on January 28, 1928, to acquire the stocks of the B.F. Keith Corporation; Orpheum Circuit, Inc.; Vaudeville Collection Agency; B.F. Keith-Albee Vaudeville Exchange; and Greater New York Corporation. The company operated a chain of vaudeville and motion picture theatres in the United States and Canada with a seating capacity of 1,500,000 persons. The combined theater chain then had over 700 theaters in the United States and Canada. A total of 15,000 vaudeville performers were booked through the new entity.[1]

In May 1928, a controlling portion of stock was sold to Joseph P. Kennedy, from whom it was purchased in October by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) as part of the deal, along with Film Booking Offices of America (FBO), that created the major motion picture studio Radio Keith Orpheum (RKO Pictures).[citation needed]

After the establishment of RKO, motion pictures became the primary focus of entertainment at the former KAO theaters. Vaudeville survived only as an interlude for feature films.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b "700 Theatres Merged In Vaudeville Circuit. Keith-Albee and Orpheum Now Largest in Country. Final Papers Signed". New York Times. January 27, 1928. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
  2. ^ Streets of Washington: Vaudeville and Other High Drama at 15th and G
  3. ^ Keith-Albee Theatre, or RKO Keith’s Theater | After the Final Curtain