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The bricks of the old 'Lafitte' tell story in new film

CarverWhen the Lafitte Public Housing Development was demolished in 2008, many people said ‘good riddance’ to the drug infested, crime-riddled ‘project’.

Others, however, including many long-term residents of 'The Lafitte’, were in tears. They recall an almost idyllic place to live in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, before the elevated I-10 destroyed neighborhood businesses and the drugs came in. Children played outside till dark and got ice cream at LaBranche’s Drug Store, there were movies at the Carver Theater, and flower beds filled the courtyards. But most of all, there was a strong sense of community.

This complicated history is on display in the new documentary short, and accompanying book, If Those Bricks Could Talk, which will screen Thursday night at the newly restored Carver Theater, 2101 Orleans Avenue.

The project is actually a product of a ‘60’s era federal law that mandated some kind of mitigation for certain older buildings slated for demolitions, including oral histories, said Rachel Breunlin of the Neighborhood Story Project, one of the producers of the film and book.

Most of these projects are filed away, never to see daylight, but thanks to the efforts of The Neighborhood Story Project at U.N.O., Cornerstones, and Spyboy Productions, “we actually created things that will circulate,” said Breunlin.

The book will be given to all former and current residents of the Lafitte development Thursday night, Breunlin said, as well as to libraries and schools.

The screening will also feature music from the Soul Rebels, James Andrews, and the Crescent City All-Stars, and food from Dooky Chase’s.

What: Screening of If Those Bricks Could Talk

When: Thursday, January 7, doors open at 6:30 PM

Where: Carver Theaters, 2101 Orleans Avenue

Cost: Tickets are just $20 and proceeds support the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center. 

Here is a link to purchase tickets: http://bit.ly/1OyvOpT

 

 

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.