Arcade scheduled to open in early 2008

Published 12:55 am Saturday, December 29, 2007

FERRIDAY — At its groundbreaking, state officials said construction of the Arcade Theatre would be completed in early 2008, and it looks as if that goal will be reached.

Work on the reconstructed theatre, located on Louisiana Avenue, is progressing rapidly toward its end and crews are working on the inside of the building now, Delta Music Museum Director Judith Bingham said.

“We’re really getting excited now because we’re seeing it near completion,” she said.

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The walls are up, painting and electrical work is being done and the polished concrete stained floors are being finished.

“Next week, they’re going to start on the little last minute things,” Bingham said.

The Arcade will serve as an extension of the Delta Music Museum, and will be used to house exhibits, community events and concerts.

Though Bingham said it would likely see some use before then, an official dedication ceremony for the new building will be in April during the Delta Music Festival.

The funding for the rebuilding of the Arcade comes from the Secretary of State’s office, and the museum is a part of the Louisiana Department of State’s Historic Museum program.

The original Arcade was built in 1926. At one point it was damaged by fire, and it was closed in the late 1970s.

Last used as a pawnshop, the original structure was demolished in January.

The new structure is meant to mimic the original theater as much as fire and safety codes will allow, and Bingham said the theatre’s marquee and sign are her favorite part of the new view.

“I love the new sign,” she said. “It’s an exact replica of the sign we took down.”