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Apr 17, 2009

Movie Houses

The normal dating night was Saturday, and the usual method of dating was the double-date. There would be a movie, at the Rex on Plank Road (now a furniture store), or the Hart or Paramount* downtown. There were other movie houses around, but they lacked the class of these movie houses. There was the Istrouma on Scenic Highway, the Avenue on Weller Avenue, the Tivoli on Main Street, the Louisiana on Third Street, and the Regina on Plank. All have vanished except the Regina, where once we attended Saturday matinées to watch cowboy movies, now turned into a skin flick palace. [excerpt from "The Dawn of Cool" Here, by Smiley Anders] *Formerly, the Columbia Theater.

Thanks to Smiley, I've learned of three theaters I never knew existed - the Istrouma, the Avenue, and the Tivoli. Thanks Smiley!

I only learned about the Louisiana this year ('09). There was the Robert E. Lee Theatre too.

From a reader regarding one I missed:
Saw your info on Baton Rouge theaters and saw the old Ogden Park Theater on Government Street was missing. It was a block east of BRHS, on the north side of Government Street (3021), across from the west wing of buildings in Westmoreland Shopping Center [where Radio Shack still is]. The center where it was located is still there. It was operating until sometime in the early 60’s. Had a 3 for 1 special on Saturdays of bad science fiction movies . Parents dropped you off at 10 and you didn’t have to be picked up until 3!!!! [parents loved it!] -Cliff Lee

"The Grand Theater stands out as the only remaining black theater in the Baton Rouge area. Dating from the early 1890s, the Grand operated as a "Negro opera house and dance hall", and later as a movie theater. Through the years, famous black entertainers performed there. The City is hoping to rehabilitate the Grand Theater by turning it into a jazz museum
entertainment center." Source (Data subject to change over time.)

The Louisiana Movie Theater

 The building now has two address's, 336 Third St. is one. 
The Building has the year 1913 on it above the upstairs windows.
There used to be a ticket booth and wide bay entrances on both sides.

 Up these stairs to a movie screen of long ago.
Stairs, between Louisiana Theater and the former Latil's stationery, leading up to
movie screen of the Louisiana Theater.

Louisiana Theater welcome sign
atop stairs in above photo.

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