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Southern Club dance hall in Opelousas collapses

Southern Club dancehall.jpg
Posted at 9:42 AM, Aug 06, 2021

An Opelousas landmark that has been in desperate need of repair is on the verge of total collapse.

According to Herman Fuselier, St. Landry Parish Tourism Executive Director and CEO, the Southern Club dance hall on U.S. 190 in Opelousas has been leaning for a while.

On Thursday, photos showed that the front of the building was almost completely collapsed. A few remaining boards holding up the roof in places and the inside completely exposed to the elements.

Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor said that he was informed of the building's state on Thursday afternoon.

"I am sure this building's family owner and the many who frequented this club will cherish the memories experienced during its operation," he said.

It is unclear if or when the building will be completely removed.

The Southern Club was built in 1949 and closed its doors in 1996. It has been in disrepair since that time.

According to The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lionel Vidrine ran the club until January 1994 when he died. His brother and cousin ran the club until 1996. The hall played mostly swamp pop music and included a restaurant and bar.

In 2014, the building was listed on the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation as an endangered historic site.

Fuselier shared photos of the building Thursday on his Facebook page. Comments on the post lamented on the buildings loss, many sharing their experiences there over the years.

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