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Jan 10, 2009

Prince Hall Masonic Temple / Temple Threatre

As it is today!  
1335 North Boulevard [between 13th & 14th St.].

Built in 1925 as the District Grand Lodge No. 21 of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows; the Rooftop Garden housed in the Temple, was the center of Black entertainment in Baton Rouge during the 1930's and 1940's -- Cab Galloway, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Ike & Tina Turner performed here; the temple is home to the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Ancient York Masons; On the National Register of Historic Places; North Boulevard. [excerpt from] [underlines added]

The Roof Garden, now the Grand Ballroom, was the glamour spot for black Baton Rouge social functions. Best known were the appearances of national big name bands such as Cab Galloway, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. When they played in the spring and summer months, the huge windows of the Roof Garden were thrown open and the music reverberated throughout the neighborhood. [excerpt from EBR Parish Library's "Our African-American Legacy" page.]

Blogger note: I was taken up to see the Grand Ballroom, the lodge's Grand Secretary was very gracious to do that. The theatre (ground floor) was converted to the lodges meeting room.

Prince Hall Masonic Lodge/ Temple Theatre
as it was. [click hyperlink]

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