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A Tinseltown Surprise



It only closed in the past few years or so, if memory serves, but I still thought every time I passed it en route to New Orleans that I had to check out the former Tinseltown movie theater. Even a few months can do some interesting damage to a structure here. Plus, you never know what you might find. Turns out it was a quick and mostly uneventful visit, but I did find something pretty cool.





Here's the unexpected find. Maybe Tara and beau came on their first date here.



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Tinseltown! Oh, yes! Thanks, Colleen! That was the theater of choice for the wife and I all throughout our courtship, and beyond. Sad to see it go, but happy to see the photos here! Last flick I saw there was the highly disappointing Superman Returns, all by myself on a Sunday morning back in the day. Always dug this place, especially the chessboard pattern all over the lobby. Another home run, CoKane!


Working the Tinseltown box office was my first job after moving to Baton Rouge to go to LSU. I worked there for the fall '98 and part of spring '99 semesters. You know they relocated this theater to Perkins Rowe when it opened up a couple years ago and they had an agreement that Perkins Rowe would pay off the rest of their lease at the Tinseltown location, but apparently Perkins Rowe didn't keep up their end of the offer because Cinemark has a lawsuit agianst them. Actually, Perkins Rowe has several lawsuits against them, so maybe there will be many more abandoned sites over there before long...

gaylon keeling

Geeze, that just goes to show how much I get around...I didn't even know it was closed!

Compliments on your photos...nice work!


Do we know who owns this building? I run a non profit organization that has been looking for a theater building to reopen for youth educational projects


I worked their as an usher in high school back in '97-'98. It was my favorite job, with the exception of some not-so-nice managers.


That was one smelly place before it closed. The stench of rancid butter roiled from the carpets.


i didn't know it closed. it always reminded me of a giant pee wee's playhouse. esp the bathrooms.

al john

It was doomed from the start. Anyone besides me remember the murder for hire that was commited in the parking lot of Tins Town

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Turns out it was a quick and mostly uneventful visit, but I did find something pretty cool.

Watson resident

I remember murder for hire - My friend Stacie Kemp Harris died there.


i was at the theater that night! scary stuff! sad for her and her family though

Puma Shoes

This can be absolutely just one for this more effective blogs I've view. You are so insightful, have a lot genuine stuff to provide towards table.


Al John, "Watson Resident" and Angelle, do you know where I can find more info on that murder? I'm searching everywhere including advocate archives and finding nothing.

What went down?

Doug Alford

I worked at Tinseltown on its Grand Opening Night back in December 3-5, 1996. Spotlight shown into the sky to mark the event. There were 2 ushers on every theater door. Who could figure the 10 step process for cleaning a theater. Between December 25-29, 1996, we had more than 30,000 customers and were the highest grossing theater per customer among the Cinemark theaters that month. Every weekend the parking lot was packed and even along the roads leading to Tinseltown.

I witnessed the infamous Tinseltown murder and even found her body in the parking lot. That was on Sunday night March 6, 1997 around 8:45 p.m. I even saw the killer driver off in an old Burgandy Cadillac.

I remember standing next to her husband who just stood there and said "They killed my wife" as his wife lay on the ground.

He was later convicted for hiring the hitman to kill his wife. He was actually standing at the box office window when the fatal shot rang out.

Needless to say, Tinseltown went from Baton Rouge's premier theater to a ghost town the very next week. Business was never the same afterwards.

I worked as the ticket taker until April 1998, so I've probably met half of Baton Rouge.

One of my favorite memories was the premier of "Dangerous Proposition" at Tinseltown. The premier was attended by Buddy Roemer and Edwin Edwards. I remember them standing right in front of me. It was probably the last time the two of them were ever in the same building at the same time.

There are lots of other things that I could tell you that went on, but it would be too shocking for most readers.

I made lots of friends with customers and co-workers. It's hard to believe that the teens who worked there then are almost 30 now.

Tinseltown has 3000 seats, 1500 on each side. 2 - 500 seat theaters, 4 - 375 seat theaters and 4 -125 seat theaters.

It was a great theater. Lots of great memories. I'm sad to see it fade away.

Tara Bennett

wow... so I'm the infamous Tara that the chalk drawing is for lol! Me and my husband met on a blind date there seven years ago and he took me back there saying that it was going to be reopened. I went to look in the window and found this... when I turned around he was on his knee and proposed! This is just crazy... I never knew anyone would have a picture of this! We did not have a camera at the time and when I went back it was washed away, so I thank you for this <3 :)

Tara Canright Bennett


Great to hear all the History behind this place. I remember going to that theater several times with my Dad when I was a little boy.

I recently went in Tinseltown in October of 2010. What an experience. Me and my 2 best friends charged into the total darkness with a flashlight or two. The place was pitch black, all glass broken, ceiling beaten up, walls with holes, some graffiti, but overall just one huge eerie feeling. Loved exploring and scaring my friends from time to time.

The hatch to the roof was even open so I got to walk up there. All the seats in the theaters are gone so they are each just one huge room with giant steps and rotting boards that are behind the now-gone screens.

Also found, no joking, some sickles and scythes inside the loading dock at the back of the theater. Pretty freaky.

All I can say, I can't wait to go back and explore some more!

still missing her

To William.
I am very sure that was very hard to witness such a crime taking place. I cannot even imagine. You are right that was on a Sunday night but it was March 16, 1997. I am Stacie's cousin and I will never forget that day. -still missing her

still missing her too

Yes it is the anniversary of her death. I have never googled it before but was thinking of her and couldn't stop myself. I am also her cousin. I spoke with her beautiful daughter last month and haven't gotten her out of my mind since. She would be so proud of her. She lived for her children and her family.


I had the pleasure of watching her killers go thru the everyday life of living at Angola.Metevia aka Lurch now walks around with a bible in his hand.He and Stacies' husband had a confrontation on the yard.Im pretty sure he knocked Lurch teeth out with an iron pipe.I think they were afraid of being surrounded by killers and wanted to make a name for themselves.I didnt know Stacie but I do know she nor anyone deserves to die like that.Especially by the hands of your spouse.I treat all convicts that come down this walk with respect because thats my job,but in my heart i know the pain and grief these criminals bring to families and for that I gladly watch them suffer everyday. R I P Stacie

still missing her

thank you allen for your kind words about stacie. in some ways it's comforting that those two convicts can spend the better part of their years being told what to do and when to do it. they are right where they need to be. keep up the good work..

Tracy Lott

I was the girl that did CPR on her. I still to this day remember everything about that night, down to what everyone were wearing. I have been thinking a lot about her and the kids lately. Not really sure why. I met her mom and the kids shortly after it happened. Ive since lost contact.

a loved one

thank you tracy. your act of selflessness will never be forgotten and you are greatly appreciated for all that you did for her..


I am wondering if anyone knows who to contact about purchasing the building? Thanks all

You can contact me at [email protected]


you know what, we should bring tons of people and turn this is abandoned theater and turn it in to a parkour/freerunning gym, or a orphanage or all of the above. you should'nt let a perfectly good building go to waste.

Devin Triche

Has anyone found the owner of the building? For who ever can find it I will be more than happy pay you for your trouble thank you.

Cg Myemail

The theater is still owned by Cinemark Movie Theaters

John Kahl

I worked there as an assistant manager from 97-98. If anyone ever gets to check out the inside of the place again, let me know. I'd love to take a look around. I remember that place when it was in it's heyday. Rather melancholy to see it wasting away these days.
My contact email is: [email protected]


I was there the night it burned down. I was watching beowolf. My dad used to bring me there all the time.So many memories there.

Amanda Acosta

Information on the Tinseltown theater can be emailed to MPI at [email protected]


WOW.. this is crazy! I still have my movie ticket stubs from the times I went to see movies here during my senior year in high school..


One thing that you all may or may not know about this theater.....It was originally built here with the intentions that the Mall of LA was going to be built there (hence North Mall Drive) but after all of the streets were built (and named) and after the theater was already built, Jimmy "convinced" the developer to use his land.....thereby leaving Tinseltown out in the middle of nowhere.

chuck dikta

me and two other friends just walked up to tinsletown and there were lights on in the abndon building. i walked closer up to the front doors and stuck my head in the window. it was dark but i could see something bright, as if a flash light were on. As i was walking back to my hotel, i glanced back at the building and could see almost like a person moving underneath the tinseltown sign. he started to move forward but, my friends and I took off.

Ashley Grey

Wow. I remember being there when I was just a baby. My family would go there all the time. I was in elementary when they closed. I wish some one would open it back up and try to keep it the same.


Crews have recently started demolition of the theater.

Tiffanie sheets

I remember going there to see robot with my sis and our neighbors. It was probably round 2006-2007 . I really don't remember but being in that place made me smile . everybody was so friendly . now it's being torn down, hate to see it go I wish I could of visit and these stories about the theater are amazing. I love hearing the history behind stuff like this . but is the killing the reason why it closed ????

Hudson Chesteen

Just an update, they are currently tearing it down. Tinseltown got the wrecking ball. Only a quarter on the building is still there. Probably will be totally gone by next week.

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