Above: Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
In 1928, the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation acquired the stocks of the Orpheum Circuit, Inc., and several other vaudeville and motion picture theaters. Later that year, Joseph Kennedy, Sr., father of President John F. Kennedy, purchased the controlling portion of the stock. He also owned a film studio at the time, known as the Film Booking Offices of America (FBO).
Within months, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) acquired Kennedy’s stock in both KAO and FBO, and in October of 1928 announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company—or RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Read more about Joseph P. Kennedy's Hollywood reign in Vanity Fair's article, "The Mogul in Mr. Kennedy." You can learn more about Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre in the May-June issue of Art & Society. PS