More Neon! Varsity Theatre sign

Submitted by BRBill January 11th, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner

To continue on the semi-continuing neon theme…I submit this photo of the Varsity Theatre sign, two doors north of the North Gates of LSU on Highland Road in Baton Rouge. This photo was taken on Christmas night, hence no traffic to attempt to run me over. To say there was a cold north wind blowing down Highland Road is an understatement. I got off work that evening, came home, went stir crazy and hit the streets expecting not much to be going on. Downtown was hopping. Over by LSU, things were more sedate so i figured this would be a good time for the pic. The Varsity has been where it is for many years. When i came to BR in 1977, it was a double theater, two big screens. I saw many a classic movie there as by that time it ran a lot of older movies for the college crowd and movie buffs. In the early 90s, it was transformed into a mid level concert venue, which it still is today. The capacity is 800-850 and i’ve seen many great acts play there over the years. Note the neon colors, purple and gold, the LSU colors. Unfortunately it does not perform as the Coca Cola sign i posted earlier does.

Next door to the Varsity, on the right in this pic, is The Chimes restaurant, a highly recommended place to eat here in town.

5 Responses to “More Neon! Varsity Theatre sign”

  1. Allee Willis

    Gorgeous and classic neon sign! I especially love that it’s in the school colors.

    Is the theater as classic looking as the sign? And do you have any idea what year it was built? I love what I can see of the building in your photo. It looks totally classic but completely unique.

    Is The Chimes restaurant as great architecturally as the theater?

    • BRBill

      The theatre was probably built in the 1940s to serve College Town, that area right outside the gates of LSU. The theatre is not “classic” in the sense of the Fox/Saenger kind of theaters though. It does feature a pit in front of the stage, a level up from that, a bar level up from that and a balcony, formerly the projection room. The Chimes was a drug store in it’s original incarnation(was still that when i came to LSU in 1977) and has been expanded into what was the lobby of the Varsity. The original tile floor is still in the Chimes.