Dancehalls in Ouachita Parish

Siesta Night Club

Image and information from FaceBook group “If you grew up on the southside of Monroe, LA” Also known as The Three Mile Inn, The Siesta Night Club, and Waterfront Grill “The Waterfront Grill in Monroe. This building was built sometime in the 1930s and was known as “The Three Mile Inn”. It took the name which is also a reference to the distance from 5 points where Louisville Avenue intersect today. This was also where the original owner had to receive a liquor license to operate. In the 1940s it became know as the relaxing point for non commissioned soldiers and boasted a glass floor just above water level for enjoyment of young service men. During this time it wasn’t uncommon to see Glen Miller, Ozzie and Harriet just to name a few. During the 1950s the building took on a new name called “The Siesta Night Club” with Country and Western entertainment. It would not change names through the 1960s even into the 1990s and was a popular hangout until 1996. It was said to be geared towards the college crowd.The building sold in 1996 and was purchased by Weemes and at that time saw a major renovation. In 2003 another renovation took place where a back deck which over looks Bayou Desiard was added which could seat 30 people. The Waterfront Grill is still open today and still uses college students for employment while attending ULM with most of them earning degrees while working there way through college. Thanks to the Weemes, employees, and the customers the building and history remain.” ...

Three Mile Inn

Image and information from FaceBook group “If you grew up on the southside of Monroe, LA” Also known as The Three Mile Inn, The Siesta Night Club, and Waterfront Grill “The Waterfront Grill in Monroe. This building was built sometime in the 1930s and was known as “The Three Mile Inn”. It took the name which is also a reference to the distance from 5 points where Louisville Avenue intersect today. This was also where the original owner had to receive a liquor license to operate. In the 1940s it became know as the relaxing point for non commissioned soldiers and boasted a glass floor just above water level for enjoyment of young service men. During this time it wasn’t uncommon to see Glen Miller, Ozzie and Harriet just to name a few. During the 1950s the building took on a new name called “The Siesta Night Club” with Country and Western entertainment. It would not change names through the 1960s even into the 1990s and was a popular hangout until 1996. It was said to be geared towards the college crowd.The building sold in 1996 and was purchased by Weemes and at that time saw a major renovation. In 2003 another renovation took place where a back deck which over looks Bayou Desiard was added which could seat 30 people. The Waterfront Grill is still open today and still uses college students for employment while attending ULM with most of them earning degrees while working there way through college. Thanks to the Weemes, employees, and the customers the building and history remain.” ...

Waterfront Grill

Image and information from FaceBook group “If you grew up on the southside of Monroe, LA” Now a restaurant. Also known as The Three Mile Inn, The Siesta Night Club, and Waterfront Grill. “The Waterfront Grill in Monroe. This building was built sometime in the 1930s and was known as “The Three Mile Inn”. It took the name which is also a reference to the distance from 5 points where Louisville Avenue intersect today. This was also where the original owner had to receive a liquor license to operate. In the 1940s it became know as the relaxing point for non commissioned soldiers and boasted a glass floor just above water level for enjoyment of young service men. During this time it wasn’t uncommon to see Glen Miller, Ozzie and Harriet just to name a few. During the 1950s the building took on a new name called “The Siesta Night Club” with Country and Western entertainment. It would not change names through the 1960s even into the 1990s and was a popular hangout until 1996. It was said to be geared towards the college crowd.The building sold in 1996 and was purchased by Weemes and at that time saw a major renovation. In 2003 another renovation took place where a back deck which over looks Bayou Desiard was added which could seat 30 people. The Waterfront Grill is still open today and still uses college students for employment while attending ULM with most of them earning degrees while working there way through college. Thanks to the Weemes, employees, and the customers the building and history remain.” ...

Twin City Auditorium

From the Sepia Socialite, May 1942: Carroll’s Twin-City Auditorium-Gym Is a Monument To Negro Initiative And A Credit to North Louisiana “Morris Henry Carroll came out of Southern University a few years ago and began a program of physical education as coach of Monroe Colored High School that today is climaxed with the erection of a $5,000 gymnasium adjacent to the school that is second to none in the state of Louisiana. The city, unable to afford such an extra curricular structure was more than cooperative when Mr. Carroll outlined his personally initiated program. Officials, well wishes of the school and white benefactors not only encouraged the erection of such a recreational center but lent actual support to Mr. Carroll’s efforts, which resulted in the completion of the magnificent building (above) modernly equipped for basketball and other forms of recreation. The structure saves a very definite need in the community. As is here shown the crowd jammed in on its opening night during the Xmas holidays, intensely watching the basketball game between the local high school and Bastrop, culminating their victory with a school dance. Mr. Sam Burns, former Southern University All-American is assistant coach and manager. Mr. Carroll has made it known that those wishing to use the conveniences of the Twin-City Gymnasium may write him in care of the Monroe Colored High School. Mr. Carroll, the son of Mrs. K.W. Carroll of West Monroe is highly regarded by leading white officials of the city and the state. His courage, manhood and initiative is respected by all who know him. As coach-teacher in the high school since his graduation from Southern University in 1923, he has developed a large following among the younger sets of Monroe in whose interest he has painstakingly evolved this recreational program. His sisters Misses Ethel, Arniece and Gladys Carroll are all making a fin mark in educational work. His wife Mrs. Henrianna Johnson Carroll is the successful proprietor of the La Henri Anna beauty school on Washington and Tenth Street at Monroe.” ...

Savoy Ball Room

North Tenth Street in the Miller-Roy Building Monroe, Louisiana From Sepia Socialite, May 1942: The Ritz Nite Club Is Monroe’s Sports Center “The Ritz Night Club in Monroe, one of the finest in the city, is one of the contributions to the sporting and entertainment world that Willie J. “Teedlum” Smith has given to this northeast Louisiana city. He is one of the most popular and best known men in town, especially famous for his sporting characteristics. He is well versed on the reputation and standing of all the leading bands, many of them having been booked by him. The Savoy Ball Room, also operated by him on North Tenth Street in the Miller-Roy Building, is the headquarters for the city sports and dance enthusiasts. Mr. Smith has only been in business for two years, but has always been outstanding as a true sportsman and a regular fellow about town. Recently he presented the ‘Rays of Rhythm,’ popular girls’ band. The bands brought to Monroe and northeast Louisiana under his promotion are: Earl Hines, who will play here on a return engagement in December, and Count Basie in January. Miss Mary Lee Moore, pictured, is the day manager of the Ritz Night club, that is located at Ninth and Layton Streets, and is on elf the finest entertainment spots in the city. Mr. Smith’s new Mercury was bought through Colored salesman Louis James. He reported its performance perfect after a trip to Detroit, Chicago, and other points this summer.” ...

Ritz Nite Club

From Sepia Socialite, May 1942: The Ritz Nite Club Is Monroe’s Sports Center “The Ritz Night Club in Monroe, one of the finest in teh city, is one of the contributions to the sporting and entertainment world that Willie J. “Teedlum” Smith has given to this northeast Louisiana city. He is one of the most popular and best known men in town, especially famous for his sporting characteristics. He is well versed on the reputation and standing of all the leading bands, many of them having been booked by him. The Savoy Ball Room, also operated by him on North Tenth Street in the Miller-Roy Building, is the headquarters for the city sports and dance enthusiasts. Mr. Smith has only been in business for two years, but has always been outstanding as a true sportsman and a regular fellow about town. Recently he presented the ‘Rays of Rhythm,’ popular girls’ band. The bands brought to Monroe and northeast Louisiana under his promotion are: Earl Hines, who will play here on a return engagement in December, and Count Basie in January. Miss Mary Lee Moore, pictured, is the day manager of the Ritz Night club, that is located at Ninth and Layton Streets, and is on elf the finest entertainment spots in teh city. Mr. Smith’s new Mercury was bought through Colored salesman Louis James. He reported its performance perfect after a trip to Detroit, Chicago, and other points this summer.” ...

Liberty Night Club

From Sepia Socialite, May 1942: Liberty Night Club First and Biggest in North-East Louisiana¬† “Twenty-one years ago, Mr. Frank D. Thompson, better known to his friends as “Son” Thompson, was a mere bootblack among the hundreds of bootblacks in Louisiana. At the expiration of the twenty-one years, Mr. Thompson built and i snow operating one of the largest and most colorful night clubs in Monroe that is recognized as a night club in Northeast Louisiana. His club, ¬†which takes up more than one-fourth of a square, has the patronage of some 3,000 customers a week. The thirty-five cents that Mr. Thompson invested in the bootblack business has perpetuated itself into a $10,000 business. His club was the first night club to be opened in Monroe by white or Negro. Since that time, numerous clubs have followed. The opening night of the club was picturesque and will live in the minds o fNortheast Louisiana as a treat of a lifetime. The history of Mr. Thompson and the club of which he proudly boasts is intervened with the history of pleasure and good times in Monroe. A brief excerpt of Mr. Thompson’s history tells of the time when he was down to a mere eight dollars with family assets amounting to only ten dollars. This meager amount, which Mr. Thompson invested in a confectionary during a church conference gave him his second foothold in business. His experience during that conference is most interesting. After his money in the investment of the confectionery had been exhausted, Mr. Thompson accumulated more than $200 from his initial investment. He did not sleep with the $200 but immediately invested it in a cafe which now amounts to a $10,000 business. The Liberty Night Club, located at 901-905 Adams Street, is the last word in modern refrigeration, lighting, service and streamlined comfort. The club offers bar service where one may get the personal service of Mr. Thompson. A huge dance section (bottom picture) where one may dance to the tunes of the best bands. There are tables and booths for the comfort of its hundreds of patrons. Mr. Thompson plays an important part in civic and social activities of Monroe and Northeast Louisiana. He was elected Mayor of Little Harlem in Monroe. He is the state inner guard of the Elks, a member of the NAACP, a sponsor of the Tuxedo Boys Club and was the first Negro to serve on the Federal Grand Jury in Louisiana since reconstruction. Mr. Thompson is married to Mrs. Auburnia Thompson and has one daughter, Mrs. Juanita Duty, who operates the Duty Service Station.” ...

Delta Club

LouisianaDancehalls.com reader comment- Wanda Shannon: “When I was around 9 years old, momma and my step daddy, Billy, had another baby. Made the 10th one for momma. Woke up one night with him screaming to high heaven. The DELTA CLUB was a very large dance hall, right up the road from us, on the Winsboro Highway, in Monroe, Louisiana. Momma would leave Billy there, when she got tired of dancing and then go back and pick him up, so thats where she was when bubba woke me up with his high pitched screaming.That was one big amazing place…there’s lots of stories there! If you could advertise around, you may would get pictures and stories. My oldest sister could probably tell some. Really brings back old memories to me because that was one big wooden floor, very popular and my momma loved dancing and loved Cajun and country music. I was only 9 but that place just captivated me everytime I passed by….” ...

Dynasty

From www.garagehangover.com: Monroe garage soul band The Spectres often played there in the mid 1960s ...

Masonic Hall

Newspaper item mentions dance held by Ouachita Pelicans, The Ouachita Telegraph, Monroe, September 21, 1889 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034336/1889-09-21/ed-1/seq-3/ ...