World Theatre

Main Street,
Ville Platte, LA 70586

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The World Theatre was a silent-era cinema that had three locations in downtown Ville Platte. Its original location was in the Deville Building and opened as Deville’s Theatre. Deville’s was an entertainment complex housing a dance hall on the second floor and a theatre that featured live acts and films on its first floor.

On December 14, 1917, the theatre changed its name to the World Theatre. Though predominately featuring English language films, the World Theatre also feature French language movies for its French-speaking patrons. The Deville Building suffered a catastrophic fire killing 25 people and destroying the building on November 22, 1919. An oil lamp fire in a neighboring hardware store spread to the theatre and dance hall. The World Theatre audience escaped injury-free but the dance hall’s narrow stairwell proved fatal.

The World Theatre continued operations leasing the Dardeau Opera House while a new location was found. A.M. Lafleur built a Ford auto dealership at the site of the former Deville Building creating an adjoining, permanent space for a theatre. The World Theatre moved from the Dardeau Opera House back to its original address in 1920 though now in a new-build facility which had 232-seats.

New operators took over in 1921 and added a second projector so that films didn’t have an intermission every ten minutes - a step forward. But though experimenting with sound, the World Theatre stayed silent and closed in December 1929. The building’s space was converted for other retail purposes in 1934.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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