A part of Baton Rouge’s cinema past is getting a second life east of the city.
Actor/producer/director John Schneider recently bought and had moved to his Holden studios the iconic sign, seats, wall sconces and popcorn machine from the soon-to-be-demolished Broadmoor Theatre.
The Ogden family opened the Broadmoor in 1965 as a one-screen theater, with “Lord Jim,” starring Peter O’Toole, as its first film. It remained a one-screen theater until 1973, when it became a twin cinema, later dividing again into four smaller theaters. The Broadmoor shut its doors in January 1999, unable to compete with the more modern, stadium-seating movie multiplexes. The Florida Boulevard building has remained vacant.
Schneider’s producing partner, Alicia Allain, had shared her memories of the moviehouse with Schneider.
“John and I were talking about how sad it was about it being torn down,” Allain said. “John said that he wanted the sign, and how cool it would be to restore and bring it to the studio. I made a few calls and we connected with Randolph Ogden, the theater’s owner.”
The crew, including Schneider, moved the interior items first, returning later for the giant red, green and white Broadmoor sign. A crane was needed to lift the sign onto the trailer for the trip to Holden.
A post on the John Schneider Studios’ Facebook page later said, “The ?#Broadmoor? sign made it to the studio!” and accompanied a photo of Schneider with the sign leaning against a shed on the property.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re preserving such an amazing part of history,” Schneider said via email.