Performing Arts Center

Photograph: Brandon Beckham

Performing Arts Center-- First United Methodist Church

The Performing Arts Center, owned by the United Methodist Church located on Louisiana Avenue, has had a long, colorful history. The building was originally a bakery, although extensive renovation obscures this. Later, it was used as a theater. Presently, the building is used for contemporary worship services for the youth groups attending First United Methodist. Two ghosts are said to haunt this building. The first is that of an unnamed young lady who performed during the buildings time as a theater. As any theater performer can attest, one bad review can spell disaster, especially for a beginning starlet. When the paper gave her performance a bad review, she became suicidal. In the early days of Shreveport, bakeries were required to have an immediate source of water in case a fire started, usually in the form of a well. She threw herself down the well, located in the basement of the building, and drowned herself. After her suicide, the well was filled in. The other spirit said to inhabit the building is that of an elderly gentleman, believed to be a stage hand from the theater days. The stage manager has reported spotting the old man watching him as he worked. Apparently, the ghost is checking in to make sure that the manager is doing a good job.

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