Another view of the Orleans Ballroom, ca. 1900.
[George Francois Mugnier Collection]
Most impressive were those gala nights when the
Orleans Theater was joined to the Ballroom to make a huge, surely unequaled ball site.
With the pit floored over to the level of the stage; the boxes closed with panels painted
by the fine scene painters of the theater to represent a saloon, or a garden; an
orchestra in both rooms allowing the dancers to drift from one to the other without
pause--the grand masquerade balls at the Orleans fulfilled the boasts and fed the soul
of New Orleans. It was gratifying to read on the front page of one's newspaper that 'the
ballroom is without a doubt the most richly decorated in the United States,' or that
everyone agrees these balls made the capitals of Europe envious. The Orleans
Ballroom was acknowledged to be both "the ornament and pride of New Orleans.'
[Henry A. Kmen. Music in New Orleans: The Formative
Years, 1791-1841. Louisiana State University Press,
1966, p. 20]