AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) installed officers. Mrs. Marie Ryann of Biloxi was installing officer. Joseph Servat, president; Mrs. Urban Stork, first vice-president; Charles Mommus, second vice-president; Agnes Cuevas, recording secretary; Ada Pollard, treasurer; Joseph Murrow, Assistant Treasurer; Mrs. A. M. Thomas, president of the Blue Jeans Garden Club; Mrs. Prima Wusnack, administrator of the library; Mrs. Beulah Peterson, club treasurer; and Mrs. Rose Everd looked on. (Photo, Hawk, 1/22/76)
A & G Theatre, N. Beach Blvd. (Ph 49-55)
A & G Theater, 120 N. Beach. (Ph 48-50) (Dir 65).
A & G Theater - See Geraldine Ames and Philo Gaspard.
A & G Theater - The A & G Theater was first built on beach side of street by Ames and Gaspard. Opened doors April 5, 1915. Brick building opened 1927 (SCE Jubilee 1942)
A & G Theater - Ground broken 2 Nov 1926. Wm. T. Nolan, architect. Seats over 1,000. 42 X 126 (SCE 4/16/1927).
A & G Fire on Sept 4, 1927 was stopped by theatre wall (Times/Pic, no date recorded. Crack in wall appeard following the fire).
A & G The first A & G Theater was diametrically across the street from the 1927 theater.
A & G "Theater declared thing of beauty and joy forever by public" declared the headline of the (Sea Coast Echo in 1927).
A & G Bay Saint Louis Theater should prove to be the ultimate in theater design and should provide to our local people a place of amusement equal in its appointments to any of its size in this section. Its design is of Spanish Mission architecture, utilizing press bricks, stucco and other permanent materials to withstand the ravages of time. The principal entrance to the theater is on Front Street, where is located a ticket office for the use of its patrons. Its white patrons will enter through the main entrance to both the main floor and a portion of the gallery. The colored entrance around the corner on State Street and one half the gallery will be allotted to the colored patrons.
The seating capacity is over 1,000 and the best furniture is installed for the comfort of those patronizing this place of amusement. The main floor is scientifically designed as is likewise the gallery so that each person wherever he sits will be privileged to view the performance without obstruction or interruption of any kind, and there are no columns within the auditorium at any place.
Over the main front entrance will be a broad marquis of copper brilliantly lighted by electricity and protecting its patrons against inclement weather conditions, at all times permitting them to drive up in their automobiles beneath its bounteous shade. Separate ticket offices are provided for the sale of tickets to the white and colored patrons.
The building has a frontage of 42 feet on the main street, with a depth of 126 feet on the side street. The interior is finished in ornamental plaster with plastered walls, and beam ceilings in barrel design. It is lighted throughout with electricity in set conduits, making it impossible for a fire to occur. It is cooled by two arctic new air machines driven by electric motors thus providing comfort to the patrons even in the hottest seasons.
On the gallery is an Underwriter's approved projection booth with all safeguards thrown around its construction to relieve any hazard to the building.
Special attention has been given to numerous exits installed at the different points in the building to enable a full house to exit without any hazard in several minutes, if at any time, required. The floors are of concrete, making it possible at all time to keep the building in a thoroughly sanitary condition.
The stage is of generous proportions, with a width, between arch supports, of 23 feet and a height of 20 feet. The picture screen is of the latest improved type, assuring perfect pictures at all times. Electric fixtures of neat design will provide the lighting. (SCE 4/16/27)
A & G Richard Boudreaux was hired as the operator for the new A & G Theater in 1927 (SCE 4/16/1927)
A & G Mrs. R. Bleu was hired as organist for the new A & G Theater in 1927 (SEC 4/16/1927).
A & G Wm. T. Nolan, architect of A & G Theatre (SCE 4/16/1927)
A & G On Saturday, April 4, 1914, the doors of the first Theatre formally opened, exactly twelve years last Monday week, when the finishing touches were in process on the new $60,000 A.& G. fireproof theatre diametrically across the street, at the intersection of Front and State Streets.
Although not very long in the life of a city, Bay St. Louis was then a village of yesterday, contrasted to the fast-growing city of today. Then the completion and opening of this building today there is no better and more definite indication of the upon the enterprise with a feeling of deep gratification. The originators of the were the Ames and Gaspard families, hence the "A & G" and then composed of Mr. William Ames (now deceased) and two daughters, Miss Geraldine and Miss Lillian Ames, the latter recently married to Mr. Charles Zerr and residing in New Orleans; and their relatives, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gaspard, the former deceased. The Ames and Gaspard over many obstacles. Their faith in the enterprise was sublime and their courage won admiration. Reward was theirs in the ultimate end and when it did come it was well deserved.
The first A & G Theatre was preceded some years previously by two movie houses on land adjoining to the north, built and subsequently leased out by the Echo interests.
The first was rather primitive, the structure resembling in shape of a railroad box car, 50 feet long by a width of some 30 feet, and operated by W.? Sigerson, leasee, who was the pioneer picture show man of Bay St. Louis.
Mr. Sigerson sold his interest to Mrs. Octave Fayard, of Bay St. Louis, and family, who continued it for quite a while and with as much prosperity as could be expected in those days, until November 1, 1913, at an early hour and from unknown cause the building and contents were completely destroyed by fire, a value conservatively estimated at the time of $2,700.00 which went up in smoke. The owners decided not to build for the same purpose, fire canceling the lease, and other building plans were adopted later.
The first A. & G Movie House - it was in the spring of the following year, Messers. Ames & Gaspard decided to engage in the business then practically still in its infancy, and built a well-proportioned and substantially constructed movie house. It was a courageous move for Mrs. Gaspard and nice, Misses Ames, for it was they who were to soly conduct the business and control its destinies. The odds were numerous. How ladies succeeded as a restul of their indefatigable efforts and application is best attested to by the fact the following summer they were able to add a building to the pavilion. Without walls and roof, it was called an “air dome,” a term quite popular then during the summer summer season when open air shows were the order of the time. It was not long, with increased patronage and the natural growth of the city that neither the building proper (for summer) nor the "air dome" (for winter) were of sufficient size. To meet the public demand was ever the policy of the A & G management, although it did not always pay best in dollars and cents, and, accordingly, an unusual expense was incurred - both places were practically rebuilt and converted into one large theatre building. This has served for six or seven years, but the time arrived where capacity houses have been the rule, particularly during the summer.
The building is not only too small but inadequate in almost every instance, and built of frame, Mrs. Gaspard and Miss Ames, the remaining active members of the original firm, last year decided upon building a fireproof theatre structure, ultra modern, and a site was selected on the corner of Front and State Streets, opposite The Echo newspaper building, and across the s treet from the original A & G