Strauss Theatre Center
Theatre captured the fancy of Twin City residents as early as 1929 when a drama club was formed and Shakespeare was read at meetings. In 1932, the group met in the Hotel Monroe and wrote a charter. Dues were $1 per year, and Little Theatre of Monroe, Inc. was officially born!
Over the next 30 years, these theatre enthusiasts were gypsies, finding performance spaces wherever they could. The staunch group appeared at the South Grand Street Theatre (Valetti’s Motion Picture House), Ouachita Parish Junior College (today ULM), Central Grammar School, Ouachita High School, Neville High School, Georgia Tucker Elementary, Rainbow Inn, and several other locations, finally landing a semi-permanent home in 1949 in a barracks at Selman Field. The airbase had been closed after World War II. The City of Monroe leased it to the theatre group for $1 per year. In 1958, far-sighted members led by Clifford M. Strauss decided the falling-down barracks would no longer do and, knowing that the enthusiastic community would support it, launched a building drive.
In 1959, Columbia Gas System contributed the Lamy Lane site and Ouachita Gravel cleared and filled the land. Architect, Paul Stewart designed the new building and Ford, Bacon, & Davis contributed the steel for the structure. Construction was completed on April 13, 1961. Damn Yankees opened the season and starred Life Members Dr. George Brian as the devil and James R. “Buddy” Henry as a singing ballplayer. The enterprising group even secured uniforms from the REAL New York Yankees.
Strauss Theatre Center is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media