Richard Buman's picture

 

 

As is the case with most grass roots community theaters, Le Mars Community Theatre originated from very humble beginnings.

March 3, 1914
Construction of the Le Mars Post Office, 1914

In the fall of 1967, the director of an adult evening education class, recognizing a community need, sponsored a course in community theater. Thirteen persons enrolled in the course. In the spring of 1968, open organizational meetings were held, a constitution developed and officers and board members were elected.
 
The early years saw LMCT borrowing scenery from the Drama Department of Westmar College, for many productions. As the treasury grew, so did our ability to build our own flats and props, which presented us with a major storage problem. For years, our properties were stored in several different locations.

In order to have access to the school system’s theatre facilities we scheduled our productions around their activities whenever possible. However, this was not always easily accomplished. As a result, we have performed in the Elks Club, the Eagles Club, Bolser Park, the Plymouth County Court House, and we even did a dinner theater in a local night club.
 

Le Mars Community Theatre, circa 1971
Le Mars Post Office, circa 1971

Enthusiasm was great, when in 1977, we had the opportunity to lease the old post office building from the city of Le Mars.

Built in 1914, the building was turned over to the city following construction of a new post office. A contest was held to give our new home a name and it became, appropriately, The Postal Playhouse. Initially, $8000.00 was spent by LMCT to renovate and improve the building. We are committed to the preservation of this local landmark and take pride in our ability to continue to improve and maintain it.
 
The building provides many natural assets for use as a theater-the cat walk used by postal inspectors is perfect for a light and sound booth-two existing restrooms on the main floor and one in the basement where our dressing and make-up rooms are located-a large foyer and lots of storage area for our costume, props and scenery.

Through the generosity of our patrons, we have accumulated a large costume department, including an impressive collection of antique and period clothing. LMCT presents four productions each January though December. We have had two world premieres. The first, Letter to the Emperor by the critically acclaimed actress, Eleanor Phelps was produced in April of 1993. Gateway or Le Mars is Born, written and scored by local talent Dr. Art Larson and his wife Betty Lou, which depicts the naming of Le Mars, was first produced in February of 1997.

Le Mars Community Theatre - Today
Postal Playhouse - Present Day