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Millard Fillmore was president and the Civil War was still nine years in the future when the Orpheum Theatre opened at the end of little Hamilton Place in Boston in 1852. There the New England Conservatory began, there the Boston Symphony Orchestra played its debut concert (in 1881), there Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto received its world premiere. Booker T. Washington and Ralph Waldo Emerson lectured. In later years the Orpheum - renovated several times - hosted vaudeville shows, movies, and the Opera Company of Boston.