City demolishes the abandoned, charred Grand Theater in N.O. East

Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 12:59 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Crews are taking down the Grand Theater in New Orleans East that remained abandoned since Hurricane Katrina.

Some New Orleans East residents reached out to the FOX 8 Defenders last year with complaints about the blighted property.

Many now hope that a recent fire earlier this month would get city leaders to tear down the graffiti-covered building. That fire destroyed the theaters roof.

Brandan Odums, the man who painted the peace mural that many have come to know on the side of the Grand Theatre facing Interstate 10 said he knew when he created the mural that public art doesn’t always last, but hopes his message does.

"I mean no, I don't have any ill feelings. I just came here to be a witness and see it happening. but I think the nature of public art is that it has its time frame, it has its expiration date, so I feel like I’m blessed that it was able to be up this long," Odums said.

Many residents in the area said they feel that parts of New Orleans East have been neglected and hope that steps like this will spurt economic development in the area.

Related: Fire in abandoned theater sparks calls for action on other blighted properties in N.O. East

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