Visitors Center to expand hours, show Katrina documentary

The Biloxi Visitors Center, already touted by an online travel service as the top-rated visitor attraction in Biloxi, is expanding its hours to accommodate demand.

The center, which is located immediately north of the Biloxi Lighthouse on U.S. 90, will begin opening from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, beginning Sunday.

The center also will begin showing the city’s award-winning documentary about Hurricane Katrina in its 65-seat theater each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“We’d been opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday, but that wasn’t enough,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond, who oversees the two-year-old visitors center. “The staff had people waiting to get in when they opened the doors on Sunday mornings, and they had a full house when they went to close Sunday afternoons. Now, we’ll have a few more hours to accommodate visitors and locals.”

The other addition – showings of “Katrina & Biloxi” – is based on requests from some of the 20,000 visitors who have walked into the visitors center in the first three months of this year.

“We already show ‘We are Biloxi,’ a nine-minute day-in-the-life-of-Biloxi movie in the theater, but there’s still tremendous interest in the Katrina story,” Raymond said. “People can now see the 50-minute documentary each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and they can, of course, buy a copy of the ‘Katrina & Biloxi’ photo album, which includes the DVD, in the visitors center gift shop.”

Raymond said he’s pleased with favorable reviews the center is receiving, especially on the online service, where an overwhelming number of correspondents have rated the center as excellent.

The 24,000-square foot center, which has hosted dozens of special events and tens of thousands of visitors since it opened in July 2011, is actually more of a museum, according to some. It fuses the city’s architectural heritage with state-of-the-art technology and multi-media exhibits to give visitors and residents alike a feel for the Biloxi of yesterday and today.

Read the reviews:
To read the visitor reviews on, click here.

A ‘Katrina & Biloxi’ clip: To see the two-minute fasten-your-seatbelt sequence from “Katrina & Biloxi,” featuring the documentary’s haunting original score and storm footage from several locations, click here.

News and notes

Weekend preview, No. 1: Carolyn Ramseur, who is one of only 30 sorpranos worldwide accepted into this summer’s program at Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy, will present a recital Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. No admission fee will be charged, but donations will help defray tuition expenses for the Ocean Springs performer. Wine and refreshments will be served. Details: (228) 818-2878.

Weekend preview, No. 2: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau has its own list of entertainment listings for this weekend. To preview the list, click here.