Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Dixie: Home of the Arts in Ruston

Written By Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant 

The Dixie is a central hub for the arts in North Louisiana. Serving the community for nearly 90 years, the Dixie Center for the Arts has become a Ruston landmark. You can’t pass through Downtown Ruston without noticing its brightly lit marquee adorned with the famous flashing star on top.

This historic theater was built in 1928 and was originally named the Astor Theater. At that time, the theater played silent films and held various concert performances. In 1932, the theater experienced a name change, as well as the addition of the gorgeous chandelier inside the theater.
inside the Dixie Theatre

It was given its current name, the Dixie, after a sale to the Dixie Theater Corporation of New Orleans in the 1950s. After closing for a brief period, the renovated Dixie opened again in 1956 with two big improvements: air conditioning and the famous flashing marquee.

What most people don’t know is that in its history, the theater was sold five times and survived a devastating fire in 1933. Although it has seen several changes, the legacy of the Dixie continues in Ruston.

artwork displayed in the lobby at The Dixie

Since the Dixie Center for the Arts held their first meeting in 1996, the theater has experienced a great deal of restoration and growth. In the past 10 years, full seasons of events, parties and concerts have reinstated the Dixie as the Home of the Arts in North Central Louisiana.
At any given time of the year you can visit the Dixie and catch a play or musical performed by the Ruston Community Theatre, various musical performances from all across the country, comedians, local recitals, and other exciting displays of performance art. The Dixie also supports visual arts by displaying artwork by local artists in the lobby. 
"The Foreigner" performed by RCT at the Dixie.
photo via

The Dixie doesn't stop its community involvement there. The five non-profits housed in the Dixie Center for the Arts host the Krewe of Allegro Mardi Ball every year as a fundraiser to maintain the historic Dixie Theatre building. This is one of Ruston's most anticipated events of the year, and the Dixie staff and volunteers work incredibly hard to make it a success. 

This Dixie Theatre is also available for rent by organizations or individuals. This rustic theater is the perfect place to host any type of performance, concert or party. Additionally, you can rent the brightly lit marquee outside the Dixie Theatre if you need to share a special message (the marquee has been part of a marriage proposal or two). 
The Dixie has truly contributed so much to the arts in North Louisiana and the Ruston community, and we couldn't imagine our town without its presence. Next time you're in the area, stop by the Dixie to see the historic theater and check out their calendar for some great performances. 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.

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