A celebrated address for sale. Home of community theater and the start of Diane Ladd’s career.
I had heard about this theater over the years and back in the early 80s lived down the block. I would sit on my balcony and imagine theater goers arriving at dusk on foot and by taxi. Later as I stood inside my living room leaning against the doorway, I would think I could hear applause over the wall. Or maybe it was real and from around the corner in the Square, back in those days of jugglers and guitar players quietly practicing in front of stragglers late into the late night.
Gallery Circle Theater was the up-and-coming challenger to Le Petit. After two seasons – 1948-1950 – in the Jewish Community Center, GCT played the 1950-1951 season in the American Legion Hall. In September 1951, it opened its fourth season with Bob Cahlman directing Marion Schexnaydre [Zinser] in The Heiress in a new home at 525 Madison Street in the French Quarter. In 1953, Cahlman cast a young inexperienced newcomer from Mississippi, named Diane Ladner in Room Service. She would go on to become Diane Ladd, wife of Bruce Dern and mother of Laura Dern.
And this from the 2014 news story about it being for sale still (or again):
It was the 1950s when the Gallery Circle Theatre made a home here. Actress Diane Ladd got her start in the 1953 production called “The Heiress.” Caldeira said the property was larger and was cut in half about 20 years ago. “A gentleman who lived in the Quarter acquired this half of it and created this house,” said Caldeira.
It also held WPA gallery showings:
for sale in 2011 for 3 point 6 million bones, and in 2014 for 2 point 8. What a place.