Old movie theater hit with wrecking ball
BATON ROUGE - Crews have been working for nearly three weeks to tear down Cinemark's 10-screen Tinseltown theater.
It has been vacant since it closed in 2007. Monday, about half of the theater was gone. Among the already demolished areas was the iconic Tinseltown sign.
People have mixed feelings about the eyesore cinema being torn down.
"That's just where all my memories of going to the movies were," said Sarah Wilson.
Dorian Allen has memories of going to the theater in college.
"Southern University; going on dates, with my husband, now," she said.
The doors of Tinseltown opened in 1996, the year movies like Independence Day, Twister and Mission: Impossible premiered. Baton Rouge movie-goers were attracted to the stadium seating, a game room and a food counter.
"Only place I know that had the candy-coated popcorn," said Jabril Ross. "I look everywhere for it and I can't find it. Tinseltown was the only one that had it."
Monday, a fence blocked off the theater from the rest of the Siegen Marketplace shopping area. But, despite no movies being shown there, it wasn't always quiet. It was frequented by people who often times had the authorities called on them. So far this year, sheriff's deputies said they've been there for a number of issues.
A spokesperson for Olshan Properties, which owns Siegen Marketplace said they "are not at liberty to discuss plans for the site."
Shoppers had a few ideas.
"We have a lot of shopping, it would be fun to have an indoor sports area," said Wilson.
"We need stuff to get more visitors here," said Allen. "We just need more things, to get people to say this is where they want to travel for vacation."
"They could put a little race course, a little golf course over there," said Jabril. "If they tear it down they can put a Dave & Buster's right there."