Strauss Theatre suffers extensive damage from storm - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Strauss Theatre suffers extensive damage from storm

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Monroe, La. (KNOE 8 News) - If you drive down Lamy Lane you can still see the damage from the storm that wreaked havoc on Monroe last month.  As you may recall, the storm completely destroyed the Books- A-Millions' store front and even tore down our iconic KNOE letters from the front of our building. And it really hurt one of Monroe's most iconic and oldest theaters.

Proceeds from a murder mystery dinner at the Strauss Theatre would usually fund various odds and ends around the main stage, but theater board member Kevin Caston said right now, the money is all going to repairs.

"We lost a fair portion of the back part of our roof and it just so happened, that part of the roof was over our prop area and our costuming area. So we lost a lot of props, pretty much all of them, and a good portion of our costumes, including furs, real furs, that had been donated over the years and things like that," Caston said.   

After the roof was ripped off the building, the area below it flooded. Dressing rooms were destroyed and along with costly curtains that may have to be replaced because of mold. Total damage is upwards of $100,000 and insurance can only cover so much.

President of the Strauss Board Bobbette Prince said there is no way Strauss could run a production on the main stage right now, in its condition.

"The community has been generous now for 82 years in supporting Strauss and I don't believe we have ever had a catastrophe that touches this one," Prince.  

Volunteers have come out to show their support by either donating their Time, skill or even costumes; like this mink coat. The coat was donated by a patron, to remember his deceased wife.

Prince said there is no way Strauss could function without the community's support.

"It is a huge old building. If we didn't have support besides just our productions, the doors would close," Prince said.    

The murder mystery dinner will run Jan. 24-25. And Strauss will have their big fundraiser on top of the Vantage Building this march, the same month they plan to re-open the stage for their next production.

For more information on the Strauss Theatre or its productions visit www.strausstheatrecenter.com. 

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