A Tinseltown Surprise
Motels of Highway 61 Revisited

TV Service Shop



Here we have a cluster of abandoned businesses...or are they? As usual, this visit to a rather mundane site in the setting sun's light had a few surprises in store.

My photography was handicapped this time out, as my digital camera's screen suddenly quit working, forcing me to use the viewfinder, which is how my parents use a digital camera. I felt hobbled by this limitation. After 9,000 photos on this model, it's time for a new camera. Santa? Are you out there?

(Update: the screen started working again! But Santa, I still wouldn't refuse an upgrade.)

I believe the neighborhood these buildings are in is called Old South Baton Rouge. Across the street from the buildings above is this former auto shop.


Also in the area, you see many abandoned shotgun shacks and other small homes like this one.


But back to this post's titular TV and VCR repair shop. It appears that another shop used to exist on the corner, but now all that's left is a ghost floor. You see a lot of those here, sometimes with front steps intact. 


Here comes the surprises. First, a DIY screed against government-run health care.


Next, a carving of a hand holding a football on its own shelf.


And finally, as I came to the far end of the building with the sign and the carving, the faint sound of recorded music. I looked up to the source: a small black speaker attached to the building was playing the radio. You can just make it out in the second photo of the post, under the tin roof overhang.

This place is weird.


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You are not sufficiently fearful... lol.

David Pye

FWIW, that "TV repair shop" looks totally abandoned, but I don't think it is. The buildings in your first two photographs were occupied by a mysterious...well, TV repair business as recently as 5 years ago. It's a loooong, story, but here's the short-short version: Against my better judgment, I purchased a cheap Akai TV from Sam's Club. The TV, of course, broke after a month. Akai actually had me drop it off at the buildings in your photo (which confused me because they looked much the same at that time). The inside of both buildings was creepy in a way that's hard to describe. The one on the left (top) seemed to be where they actually worked, and the other one seemed to be storage or something, but the contents of both seemed much the same to me--a combination of an old TV repair shop and Miss Havisham's dining room, frozen in time like something you'd find inside a pyramid. The three chain-smoking guys (all men a generation apart in age, probably from the same family) who seemed to own the shop were very odd, but affable enough. Still, I couldn't help but wonder what exactly was going on there that allowed them to make enough money to justify the place's continued existence. (And as for that speaker: They seem to have those wired up throughout the place, and connected to a radio to listen to while they...do whatever it is they do with their time in there. Perhaps the one outside is their way of signaling that someone is "home" because otherwise, it would be difficult to tell.

Colleen Kane

David, comments like yours are a big reason why I do this! Thank you for both shedding some light on this and making it even more of a mystery.

Colleen Kane

BTW, I'd called the number of the place across the street to find it disconnected. I called the TV place and got what I think was a fax line, with extended screeching beep.


you might check out this link: "abandoned swine city" in russia:



Great work, CK. Seeing a dump like this reminds me why whenever my television goes on the fritz, I just buy another new television. Has there ever been such a thing as a reputable looking TV repair shop?!


Thank you Colleen for the work you're doing here. The buildings and locations that you're documenting may be eyesores to some, but they also represent places where the collective past of the city pokes through into the present. I think these places often go unnoticed, at least on a conscious level, but they're landmarks whether people realize it or not--bits and pieces of our own fragmented ghost town.
--David Pye

A Cajun Down Under

Great Blog! For the life of me, I never understood why so many buildings go abandoned in Baton Rouge. I've never seen anything like it any other place I have lived, and it is sad to witness in my home town.


As recently as last year (or maybe two years ago?), I had my oil changed at Browns for $15. They had coupons in some LSU coupon book. It looked about the same then.


One of the buildings near the TV shop was, if I remember right, a fish market in the early 80s. I used to get a small laugh out of the sign offering 'Chanel' Catfish (assume they meant 'Channel.')

Going towards campus, the New Developments building at the corner of Van Buren St. was a working photography studio at least as late as 1988.

And...David--if you come across this, and are the same David Pye who was in the LSU Speech/Communication production of Morality Play, I hope all is well (this is Mike, the older non-student whom Greg cast as the narrator.) Cheers and happy holidays.

Louise Travis

It the TV shop in the area of town near the old Godchaux store? If so, the building it abuts could be an old furniture store (Royal Furniture, maybe?). My step-dad worked in a shop very much like that in 1970 or so, and it was affiliated with the store.


The TV repair shop actually isn't currently completely abandoned! one of my neighbors bought it last year and has been using it as a workshop for his buisness. He's been slowly working on the inside- it's all open and exposed, and very cool inside.


The auto repair shop across the street is still in business I believe. We always had work done there growing up in the 80's/90's

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