Jefferson Theatre

621 Jefferson Street,
Lafayette, LA 70501

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Jefferson Theatre

The 1,000-seat Jefferson Theatre (the 2nd to operate with that name in Lafayette) opened on July 2, 1931 with Constance Bennett in “Born to Love”. It was closed on August 10, 1976 with “Goodbye, Bruce Lee”. It was demolished for a parking lot.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Egostomus on September 22, 2009 at 7:08 am

Somewhere, I’ve got a photo of this old gem. Saw many classics there like How the West Was Won. My Grandfather told of going to the theater as a boy when it showed silent movies. They would get enough money to get one of them inside and he would go to a side door (he recalls it as a screen door), and let the others in too.

My father remembers paying a dime for admission.

FredSliman on November 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

The Clerk of Court’s office in Lafayette has a wealth of old city photographs, among them are two pictures of this old house at the end of its run in 1976. Apparently, the final feature was “Goodbye Bruce Lee” and afterwards, the marquee retained the “Goodbye” before demolition.

DBARRY on June 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

The Jefferson Theatre in Lafayette opened in 1905, replacing Falk’s Opera House. It was a new modern brick theatre and Lafayette was now able to be entertained by Acting Troupes from all over via the Southern Pacific Railroad. I remember the Jefferson as a movie theatre where I saw movies like Dr. Zhivago, The Green Berets, Fantastic Voyage, The Evil Kneivel Story, Shaft and more. Towards the end of its life it showed mostly black exploitation & Kung Fu movies that followed in the wake of Shaft and Bruce Lee.

rivest266 on August 16, 2012 at 4:31 am

Photo from Center for Louisiana Studies Archive uploaded here.

statenhall on September 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I remember seeing “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand in 1969. It had beautiful red drapes on each side of the screen with fringe. A large balcony. Very victorian in appearance. A pity it was torn down and not restored to be used for something else like plays.

Stevesr on February 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

I worked there in the 60’s & saw several great movies.The theater would stay packed on the weekend’s. Yes, it’s a shame they had to tear it down.

Frenchie35 on September 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

I can’t understand why they would not have renovated this palace of a theater. I go back to the early 1940. Saw may acts and great movies. The right person could have made this jewel. Now you have a parking lot.

50sSNIPES on December 13, 2022 at 3:53 pm

Actually, there were two Jefferson Theatres in the city of Lafayette. The older Jefferson Theatre replaced the former Falk’s Opera House, operated from 1905 until July 1, 1931, and was relocated to 621 Jefferson Street.

The new Jefferson Theatre opened the next day on July 2, 1931 with Constance Bennett in “Born To Love” along with a “talking” newsreel. With the theater originally having a capacity of 1,000 seats when it opened, the theater was operated by former “old” Jefferson Theatre owner W.H. Clark.

There was information about the theater and its original details, but I will do that in another comment in the near future.

The Jefferson Theatre closed for the final time on August 10, 1976 with its final film being “Goodbye, Bruce Lee”.

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