The Princess Theatre , Decatur’s premier civic and cultural center, boasts a long and colorful history. Originally built in 1887 to serve as the horse stable for the Casa Grande Hotel, the Princess was transformed into a theatre in 1919. At the beginning of the 1920’s when vaudeville was all the rage, the Princess was remodeled to host vaudeville acts and other live performances, and in 1940 it was again remodeled, this time in art deco, to become, in the words of Albert Frahn, “… the South’s brightest gem.”
In 1978 the Princess was rescued from demolition through its purchase by the City of Decatur. Since that time private citizens have combined forces with the city in an ongoing effort to renovate the Princess. As part of the movement to keep the Princess Theatre alive, in 1995 it was added to The National Register of Historic Places.
Today the 677-seat Princess serves a variety of functions which includes hosting arts events, producing an arts-in-education program for children in Decatur and surrounding areas, and serving as a multi-purpose rental facility. As an outlet for cultural enrichment and entertainment, the theatre is unrivaled in the community.
The Princess Theatre has become a point of community pride for the citizens of Decatur and plans for further renovation and expansion of the Princess are currently underway. When renovation is complete, the entire community will benefit from the improvements.