Pitt Theatre

6201 Elysian Fields Avenue,
New Orleans, LA 70122

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MaxTheMoviegoer on December 15, 2017 at 9:05 am

cc: Arthur Hardy My father and I just bought Xmas gift for my mother-in-law http://www.octaviabooks.com/sites/octaviabooks.com/files/styles/uc_product_full/public/files/There%27s%20One%20in%20Your%20Neighborhood.jpg?itok=Q4sZ-TIH

MaxTheMoviegoer on December 14, 2017 at 4:53 am

Thx joysmovies for STAND BY ME pic Saw it there Fall 1985 as a UNO frosh freshly transplanted from Shreveport … where was the TIME-SAVER store exactly? Cheers!

rivest266 on August 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Also uploaded the April 5th, 1985 grand opening ad as a 4-plex

rivest266 on August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

March 23rd 1949 has been uploaded in the photo section of this theatre’s page.

AlexaK on June 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I do remember the snowball stand across NY St. from the theatre. We went there often. Thanks for mentioning Parker Drugs. I was trying to remember the name of that drugstore not long ago. They had a great soda fountain.

AlexaK on June 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm

This was my closest neighborhood theatre in 1950s and 1960s. Can’t tell you how many hours and how much money I spent there. So many fond memories. Also frequented the Tiger and the Fox. We went from attending with our parents, to attending the kiddie matinees, to going as teenagers, then going there on dates. We saw so many wonderful movies (and terrible movies, too) in those theatres.

The Pitt managers and workers were the best, always friendly and helpful. At the time, it still had only one screen but it was the best. In later years, live theatre performances were housed there.

ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 12:43 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.

TLSLOEWS on June 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

Interesting looking theatre.

meflaherty on September 3, 2009 at 10:55 am

I remember going to the Pitt as a child in the 50’s. Mostly went to matinees at Pitt, Tiger, and Fox. They were great movie houses in their day. I grew up on Lafaye St. off Robert E. Lee (used to be Hibernia Avenue back in the day).

Remember the snowball stand in front of the house next door on Elysian Fields? We used to stop there coming home from the beach.

atpaine on June 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm

The Pitt was a great theater until they started dividing and sub-dividing it. You can’t blame the owners as to make money you needed more than one screen by the 70s. Nevertheless, it was a great theater when it was a single screen. I can remember seeing “The Jungle Book” there among others.

joysmovies on January 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Here is another photo of the Pitt probably from the early 50’s.

joysmovies on January 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Here’s an ad for the Pitt and Tiger (sister theatres) from 1963:
View link

joysmovies on January 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Here’s a couple of Pitt Theatre photos…more to come as soon as I locate them:
Glowing neon:
View link
Neon under marquee and entrance:
View link
By the way, Pittman also built and operated a Pitt Theatre in Lake Charles, La.

joysmovies on January 15, 2008 at 6:43 pm

The Pitt was one of my neighborhood theatres in the early 70’s. T.A. Pittman construction company owned it. A gentleman named Carl Williams was the manager from it’s opening in 1949 until he passed away in 1970. His wife, Mrs. Rita Williams, continued to manage the theatre until it closed as a single screen theatre in 1974.
Pittman Theatres also owned the Tiger Theatre on Franklin Ave., which is where I got my first job in 1972.
In 1975, the theatre was divided into a twin, making the balcony one theatre, and the downstairs portion another. They did a very nice job twinning, with curtains that opened & closed over the screen, and an automated projection booth.
In 1977, the Pittmans were not making money, and the theatre was leased to Lloyd Montruiel and 2 partners. At this time, I went to work as a projectionist at this theatre. We did 3 program changes a week on Screen 1, and did a full week run on Screen 2 (upstairs).
I stayed at this theatre until 1979, when I was made a better offer, but I would occasionally fill in or do projector repairs.
Lloyd closed the Pitt at the end of 1984.
In May of 1985, the legendary Mr. Joy Houck leased the Pitt, and renamed it Joy’s Pitt Cinema.
Again, I went to work as the projectionist, and later the manager of this theatre. In 1988, again I was made a better offer, and I left the Pitt.
When Joy’s acquired this theatre, they split the downstairs theatre into 2, then about 6 months later, put a wall down the middle of the balcony, making it 4 cinemas.
My mom, Mrs. Delores Ariatti managed the Pitt from 1988 until Joy sold out to another company in 1994. The Pitt closed in 1994, and was demolished in 1995 to make way for a Walgreens.
In the 50’s, the above mentioned retail space was operated as Parker Drugs.

YatPundit on January 17, 2006 at 5:45 am

The Pitt theater was a huge old single-screen theater in Gentilly until the late 1970s, when it was split in two and became dual-screen. It also shifted format to become a “discount” theater at that time. I remember seeing “Star Wars” (ep 4) there three times in a row for like $2. It was split once again into four screens in the mid-1980s and became a “dollar theater.” It was owned by the Pittman family (hence the name), and, if memory serves me, the family sold the property to Walgreens when the old man died.

The corner of the building closest to the intersection of Elysian Fields and Robt. E. Lee was separate retail space, occupied by a Mexican fast-food place called “Taco Tico.”