Bijou Theater

610 E. Main Street,
Houma, LA 70360

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The Bijou Theater was gutted by fire in 1953.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

Thomas Blum Cobb and Mara Currie’s book Houma (from Arcadia’s Images of America series) says that the Bijou was built in 1940. However, a Bijou Theatre was listed at Houma in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook. The 1940 house might have been a remodel, or perhaps an entirely new building. The Google Books preview of the Arcadia Press book has two photos of the Bijou (scroll down a bit for the second) as well as one of the slightly more decorative Fox (opened in 1936, according to the book.) Both theaters had modern fronts.

Bill Ellzey’s Daily Comet column for June 16, 2012 has a question from a former resident of Houma asking for information about Houma’s movie theaters. Ellzey says that the Bijou, Fox, and Grand were all on the three-block stretch of Main Street between Goode Street and Gabasse Street. That’s a considerable distance southeast of the location where Google Maps has put its pin icon for this theater.

A 1973 source indicates that the Bijou was located where the drive-up area of the First National Bank was located by 1973. If the First National Bank is still in the same location it was then, then the approximate address of the Bijou was 7910 Main, which is the bank’s current address.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on July 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

The Bijou was rebuilt after the 1953 fire, according to this article: View link

bfkhome
bfkhome on May 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

The google map photo of the Bijou Theatre is totally inaccurate. It is not where NEAR the location of the BIJOU theatre. The Bijou was located in maybe the 400 to 600 block of Main Street. About 3 or 4 blocks east of its location was the FOX Theatre. 1 block to the west of the BIJOU was the Grand Theatre. The Bijou was three doors east of the corner of Roussell St. and Main Street. At that time there was a large bank immediately next door to the east and a bicycle shop and an outboad motor shop (Beverly Johnson’s) to the west. Today the entire property has been purchased by the bank, all original buildings torn down and a new large bank building is on the site of all 4 original buildings. There is no recognizable landmark remaining on the site.

The Bijou and the GRAND were owned by the BIJOU AMUSEMENT COMPANY. By the time I went to work for the BIJOU in mid 1960’s the Grand had been closed but the building was still there between CITY HALL on the corner and Woolworths on the eastern side.

The BIJOU did indeed burn in 1953. My father was a news announcer on the local radio station KCIL and I recall him telling me of his broadcasting the event live all night long. The building was gutted but the original front wall and side walls of the building were salvaged and it was indeed reopened. I can still to this day remember the smells (good smells ) when you would walk into the building. Popcorn, air conditioned upholstered seats and especially the smell of film and projection room “stuff” as you got to the top of the hidden staircase (by the men’s restroom) leading up to the projection room.

bfkhome
bfkhome on May 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

I just checked google and apparently the number of MAIN street has drastically changed over the years so what I said in my comment above about it being in the 400-600 block was accurate back then but today it would be 7910 Main Street which houses the Whitney Bank Building now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

Houma’s blocks must have been renumbered at some point (and it’s not just Google, as Bing Maps can’t find the address 610 Main Street either.) I believe that this Street View shows the approximate site of the Bijou, but it is now the 7900 block instead of the 600 block (the Bijou was probably at about 7910.)

Google’s program has made its best guess from the old address we gave it, and has placed the Street View and pin icon for our page in the 6200 block of Main Street, as apparently there is no longer a 610 Main Street for it to find. We need to update the address and reset the Google Map.

Our page for the Grand Theatre also has the old address, but the Fox Theatre page shows the correct address, and I moved the Street View to the proper location. However, the map’s pin icon is still in the wrong spot.

Oddly, even using a three-digit address, Google’s pin icon is only about four blocks off for the Park Theatre.

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