Iberia Performing Arts League
The Essanee Theatre in Historic Downtown New Iberia is home to the Iberia Performing Arts League, a community theater organization where local theater comes to life. It generally offers five major productions per season, a summer youth play or activity, and occasionally other special activities.
The Essanee Theater opened on November 23, 1937. Owned by Julius Scharff and Elias Elias, the theater took its name from the first two letters of their last names: S & E. Designed in the Art Deco style by Owen Southwell, the state of the art theater featured the latest Super Simplex projectors, and two RCA high fidelity sound machines. The Essanee showed its last feature film, City Limits, on November 28, 1985. On October 31, 2001, the theater was purchased by IPAL. It really is "Broadway on the Bayou."