EntertainmentHammond is a place to work, and play. In the heart of the city is Southeastern Louisiana University, which operates one of the area’s most historic theaters— The Columbia. Each year, the Columbia and Southeastern host Fanfare, a month-long salute to the arts.
At any given time, there’s always something to do in Hammond.Whether it’s on the stage, the big screen, or at night, Hammond has what it takes to keep people working hard…and playing just as hard.
Columbia TheatreSince its inception in 1928 as a theater for road shows, vaudeville acts and motion pictures, the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts has been known as the cultural hub of the Florida Parishes. During the 1970s declining ticket sales left it idle and empty for years. Fortunately, the Columbia Theatre was restored to its original grandeur in 2002.
Through the heroic efforts of Southeastern Louisiana University, the City of Hammond, and the Downtown Development District, approximately $5 million in capital outlay and federal grant funds were secured and two adjacent buildings were purchased to house offices, dressing rooms, rehearsal and conference space. The theatre reopened in 2002 with an impressive 880-seat performance hall and serves as the premier performing arts facility on the Northshore.
For the Kids
Hammond isn’t just for the “big kids.” Two of the city’s largest parks are in downtown. Each has new play equipment for the kids. Zemurray Park also has an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, and baseball diamonds.
The newest edition to Hammond's recreation line-up is the Skate Park. The 10,000 square feet “oasis” for skateboarders was built by the Dream Land Skate Park company. Ramps, “bowls,” and bars give skaters a safe place to skateboard. The park is free and open to the public.
If it’s a hot day—head for the Palace Theatre. The ten-screenmovie house features movies from before lunch time, to well after dinner. During the summer, a corporate-sponsored program encourages parents and kids to enjoy familyoriented movies free of charge.
For adults or youngsters…there is always something to do. From the red curtain to the trails of Africa, Hammond has the edge on entertainment.