East Providence's 'Indoor Court' announces start of 2013-14 tennis season

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EAST PROVIDENCE — On what was a dreary, rainy Tuesday morning, Sept. 10, in city, the operators of the historic "Indoor Court" on Blanding Avenue fittingly took the opportunity to formally announce the start of the 2013-14 season of tennis under its renowned roof.

The Indoor Court, a remnant of the "Gilded Age," is entering its 99th year of operation. The foundation for the building was poured in November of 1913. It opened with a Halloween tennis gala, including an orchestra, 11 months later. The Indoor Court was built by Lyra Brown Nickerson, a wealthy heiress from two of the state's most prominent families and known as the "Little Major" due to her enthusiasm for sport and adventure.

City resident Tom Brun currently owns the facility. He and brother Stephen purchased the Indoor Court from another local resident, Ed Anelundi of Riverside. Tom still manages the court. Stephen, though doing well, no longer has a daily role at the Indoor Court due to illness.

Mr. Anelundi, 86, and who only recently still coached the Barrington High School girls' tennis team, serves as the "house" teacher at the Indoor Court, where he has been giving lessons for some 45 years. He offers instruction at $50 per hour and $25 per half hour. Other coaches also teach out of the Indoor Court. Their rates vary.

The Indoor Court is available to rent in hour blocks, $40 for weeknights and $35 the rest of the week. Mr. Brun said he currently has two prime time spots available at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday nights.

"We're open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.," Mr. Brun said. "Anyone who wants to take a lesson or play can either call or email us and we'll set it up."

The Indoor Tennis Court is located on 8 Blanding Ave. For more information call 434-9577 or email info@indoortenniscourt.com.

Plans are tentatively in the works next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Indoor Court. Mr. Brun has reached out to some notable players about putting on an exhibition. He's also been in contact with the Rhode Island Philharmonic about possibly replicating the original opening night gala.

"There's some things we're talking about, but we haven't got anything definite yet," Mr. Brun added. "We've got some ideas, but we do have some concerns, logistically. But we'll definitely do something."

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