Officials seek money to buy old Arcade Theater for music museum

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 5, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Visitors streaming in and out of the Delta Music Museum to view exhibits on famous Ferriday natives and Louisiana musicians was a common sight at Saturday’s Delta Music Festival.

But if all goes well, they may have even more to tour in the future.

Right now, the museum consists of the old post office, which was refurbished and renovated to hold the exhibits. Last year, the museum received $780,000 in state capital outlay funds for restorations to museum property.

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Since it wasn’t spent last year, the Legislature must reauthorize those funds this year, said state Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday.

And Hammett said Saturday that he and other officials are attempting to &uot;loosen up&uot; some of that money to buy and restore the old Arcade Theater as a part of the museum complex.

The former movie theater, like the post office, is located on Louisiana Avenue in the heart of Ferriday.

Appraisals will be done in the next 30 days on the theater to determine how much it will cost, said Assistant Secretary of State Al Ater.

If money is made available for its purchase and restoration, the theater could be used for performances and exhibits and as the site of a recording studio, Hammett said.

To see how many people the theater could attract, Ater said, take a look at the Liberty Theater in Eunice, La.

Performances held every Saturday at the theater attract as many as 1,500 attendees, he said.