Bell Theatre

2800 Grand Route St. John,
New Orleans, LA 70119

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Bell Theatre

The Bell Theatre was just down the street from my grandparents' home on Grand Route St. John in New Orleans. It was a wood-frame building with one screen and a balcony. The ticket man, Mr. Lococo, used to let me in for free to see the cartoons. I saw movies there from the early-1950’s until the theater burned down in a spectacular fire in April 1966.

I saw the Ingemar Johannsen - Sugar Ray Robinson fight on the newsreels there, plus “The Fly”, “The Longest Day”, a bunch of Jerry Lewis movies and tons of cartoons there.

Contributed by Tony Lentini

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 26, 2007 at 12:19 pm

This is what’s there now. Probably an office building:

Horsemen’s Journal
2800 Grand Route Saint John
New Orleans, LA 70119
Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association

BigEasyBarry on August 9, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I only have one memory of the Bell. I was about 6 or 7 years old and my parents took us to see a movied caled Youngblood Hawk. It was kind of boring and my 3 yo brothers and I started acting up. My mom took us into what was called a Crying Room. It was the place to take unruly children. We must have really been loud because the manager came and told us to shut up. My mom was really angry at him and we left. Not long after that, it burned to the ground.

ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Announcing a book about New Orleans Movie Theaters

The History of the Neighborhood Theaters in New Orleans
is being written by 89-year-old Rene Brunet, the dean of the motion picture industry in Louisiana, and New Orleans historian and preservationist Jack Stewart. The 160-page,coffee table book will be released in November and is being published by Arthur Hardy Enterprises, Inc. Attention will be focused on 50 major neighborhood and downtown theaters, culled from a list of nearly 250 that have dotted the cityâ€\s landscape since the first “nickelodeon” opened in 1896 at 626 Canal Street. The book will be divided by neighborhoods and will open with a map and a narrative about each area. Each major theater will feature “then and now” photographs, historic information, and a short series of quotes from famous New Orleanians and from regular citizens who will share their recollections.
We are trying to acquire memorabilia and additional photos of this theater for this publication. (deadline July 1.) You will be credited in the book and receive a free autographed copy if we publish the picture that you supply. Please contact Arthur Hardy at or call 504-913-1563 if you can help.

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