On October 14th, 1963, a group of eight interested people met to form a “little theatre group” in Paducah, Kentucky.
The first play presented by the Market House Players was The Male Animal at the IBEW Union Hall while negotiations were under way to use the Market House Building as a permanent home. The second play was produced in the Market House Building and the group has called it home ever since. The first year ended with three plays produced for a total of twelve performances.
In 1968, a fire nearly destroyed the building and a renovation was started to improve the facility.
The 1970′s saw a growth in the annual budgets from $2,500 to $50,000. The number of plays increased from four to six per season and the number of performances grew to thirty per year with audiences increasing to 8,000.
The 1980′s saw the hiring of full time staff and an increase in budgets from $65,000 to $125,000. Market House Theatre became a non-profit organization. In 1985, the Footlights program for children was developed and regular classes were added. Audiences continued to increase and by 1990 were reaching 15,000 plus.
Located in the historic Market House Building, the theatre has also been a centerpiece of historic restoration in downtown Paducah. With the acquisition of three additional buildings in 1996, the theatre became a community symbol of the drive to improve the historic Market House Square.