Refinement at the Hotel St. Francis

The Hotel St. Francis building was erected for George Benz and Sons on the site of the old St. Paul Library after it was destroyed by a fire in 1915. Fred C. Norlander was awarded the building contract.The 215 room St.Francis Hotel and the New Palace Theater opened up in 1916.The name of the theater was changed to the Palace-Orpheum Theatre in 1922 and Orpheum Theatre. The Palace name was dropped altogether three years later. In the 1930′s the hotel was home to Lester Gillis, aka George ‘Baby Face’ Nelson and his wife Helen. In the 1940s, RKO remodeled the Orpheum Theatre. Twelve years later, Ted Mann purchased the theater from RKO. In 1956, the St. Francis was renamed the Capri Hotel. First run films ended at the Orpheum Theatre in 1977. The building was revamped the Orphem reopened and the old hotel was converted into the Seventh Place Apartments in 1981. The theater closed again in 1984. The lobby is still being used as a 125 seat dinner theater.