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Day 162: Coliseum Theatre Burns; Mardi Gras Made In China

The Vampires Did It: The Coliseum Theatre, mere blocks from my place, burned on Friday afternoon. The reason for the fire is still unknown and it’s all very, very mysterious. What a sad thing to happen to a New Orleans landmark towards the end of its restoration from damage sustained during Hurricane Katrina.

[A correction from the peanut gallery: The theatre did not fritter away to nothingness. “If it burned to the ground, the building’s structural integrity would not be in question.”]

The theater [at 1233 Coliseum and Thalia Street] was built in 1915, but closed as a movie theater in the 1970’s … Nearly 12 years ago, Ron Calamia, a photographer, and Kenny Morrison, a commercial film producer, bought and renovated the building. Hurricane Katrina did about $400,000 in damage to the theater, but the repair work was almost complete. Calamia says workers were laying carpet in the building today, not doing anything that involved a heat source.

For you Anne Rice heads out there, the Coliseum is featured towards the end of Interview With The Vampire, “where Louis sees Tequila Sunrise.”

After my forthcoming weekend trip back home, I’ll put up images from the scene. Until then, I leave you with pictures of the outside taken during a walk with D on November 13, 2005.

Coliseum ReDoing The Lights Of The Coliseum Theatre
The coLISeum

With the latest goings-on in the world and this after tornados, hurricanes and flooding, just go ahead and immanentize the Eschaton.

Mardi Gras: Made In China: As paraders (including me) head back to NO to raid Plush Appeal and Beads By The Dozen for this very special Mardi Gras season, it is interesting to note where the beads themselves are produced.

When we grab a dozen strands of plastic beads, rip off the encircling piece of paper that says “Made In China,” throw it to the ground, and toss those beads into the sidelines, do we think of the hands that made them?

Mardi Gras: Made In China [link] and trailer

Until this past season, New Orleans has made a major effort to recycle these beads – ones amassed by parade-goers and stray strands swept off the streets and cleaned. Unfortunately, it looks like the ARC program that benefits from the resale of these collections is no more. New Orleans’ beads need a home!

Light blogging ahead. A lot of work and packing to do in preparation for returning home. txyankee and his entourage will help me move the first wave of stuff back into my place this weekend. More towards the end of the week from the Krewe du Vieux front.

3 comments… add one
  • Alan Gutierrez February 6, 2006, 1:47 PM

    Maitri

    Welcome back. Can’t wait to see Krewe du Vieux march.

    There was a fire in the Marigny yesterday. Helicopters and five alarms. Two houses were consumed.

    This is what happens when there is no one around. Fires start. Fires rage. Could be arson. Could be rotting electrical. Doesn’t matter. Fires are easy to spread when no ones around.

    As a Detroiter, this scares me.

  • Maitri February 7, 2006, 8:22 AM

    Alan,

    This is what happens when there is no one around.

    There are people around in the neighborhood of the theatre. In fact, the article mentions a woman and her pets having to flee a house that borders the theatre. Also, there were people in the building working at the time of the fire.

    This is all we need – the damage of the dry sliver by random fires. Then again, are they random?

  • Jakhel February 7, 2006, 9:52 AM

    Good luck with move!

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