Jennings, LA (KPLC) – A rusted-out hot water heater in the upstairs area of the Strand Theater has been listed as the cause for a massive amount of water that flooded the historic theater over the holidays.
Restoration crews have pumped out over 3000 gallons of water and working diligently to dehumidify the building. Soon everything in the building will have to be removed and thoroughly cleaned.
“We have dehumidifiers; we brought in a team to completely dry it out, dehumidify everything, and then once that’s done, we’ll really be able to look at what all is going to have to be repaired,” said Jennings City Event Coordinator Kaitlyn Little.
The strand theater was built in 1939 and restored in 1993. It is listed on the national registry of historic places and is home to several community groups in the Jennings area.
“Obviously the theater is a historic building, and has a lot of ties,” said Little. “There’s a lot of local groups that have their all of their events here as well as local musical artists that perform here. So there’s a lot of different heart ties to this building.”
The CHIPS Youth Theater is one of those groups.
“The youth theater had shows scheduled for the junior high age group and the restoration may impact that performance, and we’re having to have rehearsals in a different space,” said Assistant Director for CHIPS Youth Theater Bailey Landry. “But we are adaptable if anything; what our theater people, if not you know, just rolling with the punches.”
The city is hopeful the building can be repaired swiftly and have performers back on stage that may look even better than before.
“Although there is damage, we are lucky that nothing has been too far gone. We’re going to be able to fix it,” said Little. “Going forward, we might have to postpone some things. But it’s at our forefront of mind that people get back in here as soon as we can and have an even better place to have those events at.”
Copyright 2023 KPLC. All rights reserved.