Welcome to the historic Little Theatre in downtown New London, Minnesota. The Little Theatre is owned and operated by a non-profit organization, the Crow River Players, Inc. Our purpose is to bring to the communities of New London and Spicer, and the surrounding areas quality affordable live entertainment. Our venue includes theatrical productions, concerts, and a variety of special events.
We are one of the rare community theatres that shares our facility with the local school district. The New London-Spicer Schools use our facility for their Spring, Fall, and One Act play productions.
The Little Theatre, built in 1921, has had different titles and uses through the years. Known as The Ideal Theatre, the building’s main purpose was a community playhouse. When it was renamed The Rialto, it began its life as a silent movie house and later with ‘talkies’ in the ‘50s & ‘60s. A basketball court, high school graduation auditorium, and community meeting center are among the many other purposes this building has served. In the ‘70s, it acquired its present name, The Little Theatre, when the New London- Spicer High School began holding their drama class rehearsals and productions there. This continued until the early ‘90s when the building was condemned. Unwilling to allow the destruction of this piece of history, a group of concerned citizens from the New London-Spicer area united to save the building. Following a massive effort of fund-raising, contributions of materials, and many hours of donated labor, the restoration and modernization of the building was completed. In 1998, this group officially became the Crow River Players accepting the responsibility of maintaining and managing the building. Once again, The Little Theatre became a community playhouse as well as the performing arts center for the school; providing quality live entertainment. That continues today, in conjunction with a new purpose, a concert hall.
Our Mission Statement:
1. Preserve, restore and operate the historic structure known as The Little Theatre.
2. The operation of the theatre shall be for the purpose of providing space for students of the New London-Spicer School District as well as other persons or organizations who desire to use the theatre for any lawful purpose including plays, lectures, concerts and meetings.
3. Advance the performing arts of the New London-Spicer schools and the community at large.
The Little Theatre/Crow River Players promotes community involvement and afford artists personal growth opportunities. In addition to plays the group has held artists’ showcases featuring local musicians, concerts, displayed artwork of visual artists and worked with local organizations to create programs for special events. The group has no paid staff [only the production Directors are paid]. Profits are used to maintain and improve the building.