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Essanee Theater Receives Restoration Grant

Mayor Freddie DeCourt and the City of New Iberia have received a $50,000 National Park Service Grant by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development for the restoration of the Essanee Theater.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 8:42 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2020 8:43 AM

NEW IBERIA, La. --- Mayor Freddie DeCourt and the City of New Iberia have received a $50,000 National Park Service Grant (P19AP00425) by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development for the restoration of the Essanee Theater (126 Iberia St., New Iberia).

Built in 1937, the Essanee Theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017 as a contributing resource to the Downtown New Iberia National Register Commercial Historic District (NRIS 100001710). The period of significance for the Downtown New Iberia Commercial Historic District was 1870 to 1967.

Restoration of the theater marquee to a previous design based on historic photographs (c.1952) will include:
Marquee restoration (housing and lighting)
Replacing the metal ceiling under the canopy
Modifying the exterior masonry at the canopy to install flashing
Restoring the canopy supports
Electric upgrades for the marquee

"Thank you to the United State Department of the Interior National Park Service, Washington D.C. for the grant opportunity, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development and to Ray Scriber, Director, Louisiana Main Street for writing the initial grant that brought Louisiana $662,000 through the FY2018 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program," said Jane Braud, Director of Department of Planning/Zoning/Grants & Certified Director of New Iberia Main Street Program. FY2018

About the Essanee Theater
Iberia Performing Arts League, owners of the Essanee Theater provide a full range of theatrical experience for the New Iberia community and surrounding areas. Plays have open auditions and any community citizen is invited to audition. The result has been a wide age range and a diverse group auditioning with a good mix of senior citizens, teenagers and youngsters. There is a good mix of experienced and novice thespians, as well as a large backstage crew and technological group. For more information, visit IPAL online.

For more information on the restoration, contact Jane Braud at (337) 369-2300 or jbraud@cityofnewiberia.com

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