Behind the Curtain

Southeastern's historic Columbia Theatre features a backstage wall that recalls a decade's worth of performers

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 

columbia wall

There's a little piece of lagniappe behind the curtain at Southeastern's historic Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. For more than 10 years, performers – from local artists to marquee acts – have left their marks on a backstage brick wall, making it as much a showpiece as the venue itself.

The Columbia Theatre, a historic renovated performing arts center in downtown Hammond, reopened in 2002 to enhance the cultural experiences of students and the community alike. At that time, the "Wall of Performers" began collecting signatures from the likes of Boys II Men, Irma Thomas, Amanda Shaw, Pete Fountain and the WWII Museum's Victory Belles – whose unique markings included a few lipstick kisses.

A special section of the wall features the signatures of several performers who, in the days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, took up residence at the Columbia Theatre because of the lack of local hotel and transportation options. Administrators converted the theatre's conference room into private, dorm-style housing for the stranded performers.

The Columbia Theatre presents a diverse mix of year-round cultural events, providing area residents and visitors with a grand and elegant setting for entertainment. Among other performances, the theatre presents a main stage season, cinema series and Southeastern ensembles throughout the year. View upcoming events at the Columbia Theatre.

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