The history of the Dixie Theatre begins in 1928, when it was built as the Astor Theater. The new theater played silent films and held concert performances with ticket prices ranging from 10 to 50 cents. It was re-named the Rialto in 1932 (the same year the exquisite chandelier was added) and given its current name, the Dixie, after a sale to the Dixie Theater Corporation of New Orleans in the 1950s. After a period of closing, the renovated Dixie opened again in 1956 with the added comfort of air conditioning, and with the famous flashing star crowning the marquee.
The Dixie has had its share of difficulties. It was sold five times in its history and survived a devastating fire in 1933, not to mention the challenges brought on by the Great Depression. Although it has seen many changes, the legacy of the Dixie continues in Ruston. In 1996, the Dixie Center for the Arts held their first meeting and began casting a vision for the restoration of this historical and cultural treasure. For a full decade, devoted members ran creative and successful fundraising campaigns and events that brought in the necessary funds to restore the Dixie Theater. A grand celebration and re-opening was held in 2006, and full seasons of events, parties, and concerts have reinstated the Dixie as a center to be the Home and Heart of the Arts in North Central Louisiana.
Board of Directors
Larry Jarrell, President
Linda Graham, Vice President
David Darland, Treasurer
Laura H. Miller, Secretary
Angie Biscomb, Lou Ropp, Melodye Tanner,
Chris Turner, Amanda Quimby, Edwin Otis Edgerton IV,
Lawrence Gibbs, Derek Amaya, Haley Perot
Mary Ann Woods
Peter Jones (NCLAC)
Becky Napper (RCSS)
Steele Moegle (RCT)