History: Tucked away in the heart of historical downtown Crowley, Louisiana sits one of the most unique second-story opera houses still standing. Built in 1901 by David E. Lyons, a livery stable owner and deputy sheriff, the Grand, as it was named then, was referred to by the Daily Signal as a "beautiful little playhouse." Costing a mere $18,000 to build, Mr. Lyons carefully constructed his masterpiece using virgin Louisiana cypress, pine, and oak. This mostly wooden structure was accented with pressed tin tiles and hand-painted angel medallions in the four boxed seats. The Grand was known as the place for entertainment and hospitality. Used mainly for vaudeville and minstrel performances in the earlier days and for silent movies and talkies during the later days, the Grand attracted people traveling through the south, specifically those passing through Crowley via the railroad, which was located just a few blocks from the opera house. For the 39 years it remained open, notables such as Enrico Caruso, Babe Ruth, Clark Gable, Huey Long and Madame de Vilchez-Bizzet of the Paris Opera were just a few of the famous to grace the Grand's "mammoth" stage. Luckily for the 69 years it was closed, the opera house was left nearly untouched and luckily well preserved.In 2004, Grand Opera House of the South, which is a 501(c) (3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and an Executive Director, was given a truly "GRAND" gift by Mr. and Mrs. Lazar John "L.J." Gielen and family... the 33,000 square foot building which houses this National Historical Landmark. Purchased by the Gielen family in 1999, Grand Opera House is now totally owned and operated by the not-for-profit organization.