The Southside Center for the Arts is a longtime dream come true in one of Opelika’s oldest neighborhoods. Innovatively designed as a school building by Southern architectural legend Frank Lockwood, Southside Elementary opened in 1929, and for the next 70 years welcomed thousands of children into its classrooms.
Now this historic structure is alive with the sights and sounds of performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, lectures, arts education activities, and community engagement events. Its central space features administrative offices and a gem of a 300-seat auditorium with lively natural acoustics. The building’s two wings house meeting/conference spaces and galleries for student and professional art. Restoration efforts have been true to the building’s historic character with functional upgrades for contemporary use.
As a cooperative venture between The Arts Association of East Alabama, Envision Opelika, and the City of Opelika, Southside Center for the Arts will host many exciting and memorable events in the years to come, and continue to grow as an important cultural asset to our community.