125 E. Main Street,
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New Iberia hadn’t had a lot of success with its entertainment venues. Its Iberia Opera House – a replacement for a burned down venue – burned down on April 1, 1898 about ten years after it was built. On May 20, 1905, its replacement – the Vendome Theatre – also burned down. The Elks Theatre was the next attempt and it was more successful. It launched November 18, 1907 as a live venue.
The Elks Theatre moved quickly from stage plays to vaudeville to silent film where New Iberia patrons saw films including, “The Birth of a Nation” in 1916. Affiliated Saenger took on the Elks Theatre equipping it for sound. But, like its predecessors, the venue burned on October 24, 1933 ending its operation. Saenger Affiliated then launched the Palace Theatre, likely in the same spot of the Elks Theatre, on December 9, 1933.
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