Welcome to the beautiful Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, a jewel of the Alexandria Cultural Arts District and the state-of-the-art home to both local organizations and touring performers. The theater draws appreciative audiences from across Central Louisiana and beyond to the stellar concerts of the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, the delightful shows of Lagniappe Theatre Company, the majesty of nationally acclaimed dance companies, and a host of other great artists and entertainers.

The theater opened in 2004, part of a renaissance in downtown Alexandria.  It is named for the local Coughlin-Saunders Foundation, which provides operational support from a dedicated theater endowment.  

Central Louisiana’s premiere performance venue sits on the former site of Wellan’s Department Store, the land being donated by McCormick and Company, then owners of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk.  The tri-arched beautifully-lighted marquis above the Third Street entrance is a tribute to the longstanding downtown department store. The Rasco Company of Little Rock, created the original conceptual design, while the local firm of Ashe, Broussard and Weinzettle worked with design and construction planning.  Ratcliff Construction of Alexandria served as the general contractor for construction.

Not only does the intimate 614-seat auditorium draw raves, but even the lobby and terrace play host to beautiful weddings, receptions, Mardi Gras events, civic functions, and corporate meetings, as well art exhibits, jazz concerts and other small-scale activities.

Whatever brings you to the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, come ready for a great show, friendly people, great refreshments, and maybe a few surprises.  Enjoy!