BAY ST. LOUIS – (AP) The rich history of the 100 Men Hall in Bay St. Louis is being immortalized in a documentary entitled “Call Before Demo: Resurrecting a Legendary Blues Hall.''
The 100 Men Hall gave black entertainers a place to perform during the days of segregation.
Many of the artists who performed there went on to become world famous musicians.
“After Katrina, I rode past here, and I saw a sign that said call before demo. And for reasons I don't understand, I said, `You can't knock that place down. Call me. We will work something out. I will buy it from you,''' said Jessie Loya, who opens the documentary with those words.
When Jessie and Kerrie Loya purchased the building, they had no idea the building played an important role in American music history.
It was built in 1922 by the One Hundred Members' Debating Benevolent Association. Over the years, the association sponsored many events and rented the hall to promoters who brought in blues, rhythm and blues and jazz acts.
Documentary co-producer Andrew Barrett said,