About Columbia

Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts

Breaking the Fourth Wall of Modern Tech

With Live Performance

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, located at 220 E. Thomas Street in Hammond, LA, is owned and operated by Southeastern Louisiana University. Many know it as a building in Downtown Hammond with an extensive historic past and tons of antiquated charm, but only attendees of its immersive, edge-of-your-seat performances know its true identity as the DreamFactory. Here, you’ll escape the all-consuming realities of smartphones, social media, and streaming services to connect with talented local national, and international performers on a personal level.

Established in 1928, the historic theatre has a long, significant history within the Hammond community and Southeastern Louisiana— including its triumphant renovation in 2002, a landmark accomplishment for Southeastern Louisiana University, the City of Hammond, and Hammond’s Downtown Development District. The Columbia Theatre produces plays, musicals and interactive events, screens major motion pictures, and hosts concerts, dance and theatre performances, musicals, and other special events, utilizing every square-inch of the historic building, whether the event be held in the 830-seat Hainkel Hall, the Balcony Lounge, the Studio Theatre, or the Main Lobby.

Our Leadership

James Winter

James Winter

Artistic Director
Pete Pfeil

Ben Norman

Associate Director for Operations and Production
Beanie Stansbury

Beanie Stansbury

Administrative Coordinator
Angelle Reeves

Angelle Reeves

Assistant Director of Business and Marketing
Angelle Reeves

Shelby Lowder

Operations and Production Technical Coordinator

Our Mission

The mission of the Columbia Theatre is to enhance and support Southeastern Louisiana University, as the university serves the educational, economic, and cultural needs of Southeastern Louisiana. As the premier performing arts facility for the region, it provides a broad and diverse presentation of the arts. The Columbia Theatre and Southeastern Louisiana University are fulfilling this mission through excellence in programming and by developing mutually supportive relationships with appropriate local and regional organizations. The Columbia Theatre serves as a catalyst for promoting cultural, educational, and economic growth.

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, which is located at 220 E. Thomas St. Hammond, LA, 70401, is owned and operated by Southeastern Louisiana University. The historic theatre, built in 1928, was completely renovated and reopened its doors in 2002. The theatre presents a mix of classical and contemporary concerts, dance, and theatrical events year-round, including its October festival, Fanfare, providing the area with a first-class setting for entertainment. The renovated theatre boasts a main 830-seat performance hall, a conference area, and administrative offices.


In Memory of the Honorable John J. Hainkel, Jr.

In 2006, Southeastern Louisiana University proudly dedicated the Performance Hall in the Columbia Theatre to the memory of the late State Senator, John J. Hainkel, Jr. who passed away on April 15, 2005. A dedicated public servant, whose legislative career spanned 37 years, Senator Hainkel was the only state legislator in the United States to be elected as the presiding officer of both the House and Senate. 

A true friend of SLU, Senator Hainkel led a strong and united legislative delegation that achieved considerable state financial support, resulting in numerous renovation and construction projects on campus. The restoration of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts – his “pride and joy” – was largely the result of his efforts in garnering state support for the project. A commemorative plaque is located in the Columbia Theatre‘s Main Lobby as a permanent memorial of his contributions to Southeastern Louisiana University and the State of Louisiana.

Technical Specs

Get a bird's eye view of Hainkell Hall with our stock ground plans and center line section specifications. These are the perfect aid for understanding the layout of our great theatre.

Download Specs