03 February 2010

The Joy Theatre

I was checking Reddit today, and one of the posts on the front page was a picture of the Joy Theatre on Canal Street in New Orleans. Being that I always am amazed by the beauty and potential of this building, I figured I'd look it up. A brief synopsis is below, but if you click this link, many people discuss their experiences in the Joy Theatre, including the granddaughter of Mr. Joy Houck, its founder. It's sweet to feel how nostalgic they are about the theatre. Has anyone seen this documentary?

From No More Joy, a documentary about "the rise and fall of New Orleans's movie theatres":

"In 1946, it was announced that the first movie theatre in 20 years was
to be erected on Canal Street.

On February 7, 1947, the Joy Theatre opened at a cost of $275,000
and seated 1,250 patrons. The ultra-modern theatre was to be
equipped with a “crying room” – the first of its kind in New Orleans.

The Joy was built by long-time theatre operators Joy Houck (the
Theatre’s namesake) and Levere Montgomery, Sr. and the Architect
was B. W. Stevens.

The Joy would be home to Universal Pictures, which at that time was
one of the smaller of the major film companies. “Lover Come Back” with
Lucille Ball was the opening feature with Dan Duryea live on stage.
Throughout the 1950’s and early ‘60’s, Universal made some well
known films such as “The Egg and I,” which started the Ma & Pa Kettle
series. Others include “Tammy and the Bachelor,” “Imitation of Life,”
“Operation Petticoat” and Rock Hudson films like “Pillow Talk,” and
“Come September,” and the Joy featured them all.

The Joy Theatre closed in 2003 after years of lackluster ticket sales and after the theater's manager was evicted for violations of the lease agreement, including late payments on rent.

Then in August of 2005, the flood following Hurricane Katrina inundated the structure. To this day, the future of the Joy is undetermined."

These pictures are of the Joy, the one I found today and one from LONG AGO.

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