The Delta Theater on 3rd Street near Art Alley is an easily recognizable building downtown. It was the last theater built downtown. I found this picture at the Library of Congress that shows it in the 1980’s when it was the Empire: https://www.loc.gov/resource/mrg.01241/ . Just look at those bright colors! You could tell though, it was already on the decline.
This two story brick building once had a basement! It was originally an auto repair shop. I found an article in the Monroe Morning World on August 24, 1941 describing the remodel:
The two-story brick structure at North Third and Jefferson streets will be remodeled to the extent of $27,695 to house another motion picture concern here. Salley and Ellis, local contractors, have charge.
Work will begin Monday on the new theater, to reflect the latest in streamlined construction. Completion is planned in about 60 days, according to the contractors.
For the complete remodeling project, interior of the present building will be torn out – down to the bare walls and roof. The basement will be filled with dirt, and a new concrete floor will be laid. New acoustical material will be applied to the walls and ceilings. Attractive modern lounges will be installed on either side of the broad auditorium. The front will be done over completely with structural glass and baked-on enamel metal.
There is a site showing what it looked like in 2006 along with a little information here: http://michaelminn.net/theatres/south/delta_theatre/index.html .