The History of the Las Cruces Community Theatre
The Las Cruces Community Theater (LCCT) was founded in 1963 by Michael Coquat, a graduate student from New Mexico State University. In an effort to establish a community theater group, Coquat engaged the community. Consisting of a dozen interested individuals, the group performed in the yard of the former St. Genevieve’s Church (formerly adjacent from the present Rio Grande Theater).
Fountain Theatre. The group later sought a new venue in Mesilla, formerly called The Fountain of Joy Theater (currently the Fountain Theater), owned by Arthur Fountain. The LCCT officially moved into the Fountain Theater in Mesilla in 1964.
The State. The current location of the LCCT is known to many in the community as the former State Theater that opened in December 1941. The State Theatre opened weeks after the United States entered World War II. Designed as a single-screen house, “The State” fell upon hard times and closed in 1975. In 1977, the building on Main Street in downtown Las Cruces became the new home of the LCCT.
61 Seasons and counting! With the hard work and determination of many volunteers, the LCCT has produced a wide variety of musicals and plays for over 60 years and remains an important part of the Las Cruces community. Proudly serving the community as a not-for-profit organization, that includes a Board of Directors, the LCCT is committed to being a fully-staffed volunteer organization. Each year, the LCCT continues to attract talent from Las Cruces and surrounding areas to produce high-quality entertainment in a historical venue right on Main Street.
And it takes a community! Over the years, the LCCT has faced several challenges, including the maintenance of the old building. The LCCT is grateful for donors like you that help us bring you the best theatrical experience possible. Please consider making a donation to the Las Cruces Community Theatre and help us bring more great theatre to you.
John Hadsell, Author. Revised January 2024
Berg, Jeff. Historic Movie Theatres of New Mexico. The History Press. 7/16/2018
Note: The archives for the LCCT can be found in the Rio Grande Historical Collection in Branson Library located at New Mexico State University. Contact 575-646-3839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.