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May 30, 2012


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The Mighty Favog

In one of the lobby photos, I think you stumbled upon metaphor. The brochure holder from the convention and visitor bureau has the slogan "Baton Rouge. The Flavour of Louisiana."

Amid the filth and ruins.



Another great post, Colleen! Can't wait for the next one! Bette Davis and Joan Crawford didn't stay there though. They actually stayed at Houmas House. I went on a tour there recently (HH) and the tour guide said, "This is known as The Bette Davis room for when she stayed here during the filming of 'Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte'" when we walked into a room with a grand bed. But who knows, maybe they spent some time at The Bellemont too!


RoPo, I took that tour too and remember that room. It could be they stayed in both places-- In addition to the above-mentioned Bette Davis quote mentioning Baton Rouge, the IMDB profile lists Baton Rouge as a filming location in addition to Houmas House, which is about 30 miles from Baton Rouge.


The thought of "if theses walls could talk" would drive me to distraction if I were there in person.

Can't wait for the next part!


Glad you made a trip back down. I really miss your pictures and updates on this site. I followed your blog during your entire stay here. I may be too late, but I think I'll head by there tomorrow to see if there are any momentos worth salvaging. Really makes me sad to see that piece of Baton Rouge history go. Every native Baton Rougeon has a story or connection to that hotel.


Yeah that's what I thought too after I posted. Either way, it's a great story and I wish there could be a book written with everybody's stories and memories of The Bellemont. It was a fantastic place for sure.

Lynn Schlossberger

Wow. Amazing photographs, stunning documentation of the decline of the Bellemont. I hadn't see it since it served as a staging area for first responders in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina, in 2005. I was on the mental health team, debriefing the emergency workers as they came off duty. The hotel, I think, had not been in service for some time.


Ha! I was at that same prom that Leslie & Patrick went to. Good memories.


I am headed to Baton Rouge for vacation this weekend...wonder if any of it is still there? I would love to photograph this and anything else recommended while there! I am a photographer in Ohio and love to shoot abandoned places. I have a page on my website dedicated to it...it's small, but I plan to grow it a lot more this year. Any tips on places in Baton Rouge or New Orleans would be greatly appreciated!

Jason Thomas

Beautiful and sad. I was at Prom with Leslie and Patrick, too. Before I scrolled down and saw their picture, I saw the photo of the stairs in the Great Hall and thought, "I took a picture right there in my purple tuxedo jacket and purple Chuck Taylors" The place looks surprisingly good after all this time.


I remember the Bellemont Hotel in its splendor. When I was a junior in high school - around 1983/84, the Bellemont was selling all the fine china from their restaurant. My mother bought place settings for 8 along with various bowls, a creamer, sugar holder, coffee cups, saucers, etc. Very beautiful white china with light blue flowers and a silver rim. I suppose I own a little piece of Baton Rouge history and that's really cool. It's ashame that area of town has gone to pot - It would be wonderful if someone could build the Bellemont in a better area of Baton Rouge just as it was when it was alive and well.


Indeed a great place. I always had an odd fascination with the decline of this place. I was fortunate enough to work on three different movies that shot at The Bellemont in 2009-2010. The gave me the perfect opportunity to snoop around the entire complex and take lots of photos. The amount of overgrown greenery in the center of the back building (where the other pool is) was incredible. The only place I was never able to break in was the Pan Am suite. I heard there was a pool inside the suite.
We shot most of Flypaper (starring Ashley Judd and Patrick Dempsey) in The Great Hall (Flypaper is on DVD and Netflix) The Bank which is where the entire film is shot, was The Great Hall. They transformed that entire front entrance and turned it into a bank. You would barely recognize it. We also shot Dragon Eyes starring Sean Claude Van Damme all around the back buildings. They turned that entire section into a rough looking apartment complex. We boarded up all the downstairs rooms and spray painted graffiti on it. It was very cool. In 2007 we shot the film The Chameleon (starring Famke Jameson and Ellen Barken). Two of the hotel rooms were completely dressed to look like functional apartments. One of the rooms they used actually had a kitchenette in it. The cool thing about that back building was one could conceivably rent the entire top floor since every single room and suite adjoined. We shot at night on this movie and they were able to turn the power on that building and the guys re-lit all the rooms and hallways. Just like it was open.

Dan Davis

Thanks for documenting this. Grew up only about a quarter of a mile away. Remember seeing Bear Bryant's fedora from the outside of a bus as we watched the Bama team pull away from the Bellemont on their way to giving LSU another whipping in the '70s. Remember Mardi Gras balls at the Great Hall. Good times. My friend used to joke that someone was going to decide just to rebuild Baton Rouge on the west side of the river rather than just try and make the current situation work. Well, I guess he was almost right. Everyone moved south. I guess everyone will be living in houseboats on Lake Maurepas in 25 years.

Kathleen Rausch

Very nice. Looking forward to spending time exploring the rest of your pictures. Thanks for doing this I'm fascinated with this type of photography but to chicken to do it myself!

David Jordan

I celebrated my 18th birthday at the Plantation Room Lounge in the Bellemont in May of 1974; what was cool about it was that I had been going there for three years without getting "carded" & thrown out!

paul b

Something strange about Baton Rouge, Nothing survives it. I could tell a million stories, Masion Blanche, Bon Marche, Cortana Mall, Broadmoore,New Generation, Florida Blvd, Airline Hwy, the Amusement park it's actually endless. Whatever new this way comes destroys something old. Tradition here is forgotten memories and lost loyalty for the fad of the day. It's always been that way in BR.
I've seen it's prime and now it's lowest low. Every time I return home I wonder how much further can it sink ? Or can it? It's sad but it seems to be the flavor of the day for most of the eastern us.

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Kimberly G. Foulds

This is such a pity!
The place was luxurious and so beautiful...And what is left from this beauty now?

hotel a paris

Yeah thats what I thought too after I posted. Either way, its a great story and I wish there could be a book written with everybodys stories and memories of The Bellemont. It was a fantastic place for sure.


They tore it down, it's totally gone, the main building all the apartments in the back, it's just gone. Like it was never there, it's so sad.

Monica Tong

I remember this place! I had two proms there at the Great Hall. Never stayed there, but I always wondered what it looked like in its prime.

Matt Isch

Bette, Joan and the rest of the Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte cast actually stayed at the Oak Manor Motor Lodge on Airline Highway. Crawford, whose husband was chairman of the board of Pepsi, even made a statement that she was delighted that she was staying in a motel that was next door to the Pepsi Bottling Company.

Colleen Kane

Thanks, Matt. Can you share your source for that?

Jerri cox

I was employed at the Oak Manor Hotel which was the sister hotel of the Bellemont hotel. Over time the Oak Manor closed and I began to work at the Bellemont Hotel. I remember the ground breaking of The Great Hall which added grand ballrooms and meeting rooms. New year Eve’s parties were on a grand scale with the big bands. Numerous brides to be had pictures taken on the stairway that were picturesque.

Another celebrity that stayed at the Bellemont was George Burns. To my delight I was able to take a picture with him. There was also Bernadette Peters.

I worked there over a decade and have many fond memories. When I used to visit home, Baton Rouge, I would always take the route to see the Bellemont. That place was more than just a building. I hate to know that it’s gone.

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