Over the last few decades, the landscape and shopping scene in SWLA has changed. In our case, Mother Nature has had a lot to do with local merchants and storefronts relocating or shutting down for good. Hurricane Laura devastated many iconic stores and businesses in Lake Charles. Since the 2020 storm, some longstanding storefronts and shops have rebuilt while others have closed forever.

There have also been surprising closures of popular locations throughout the city, and no one knows why they went away. Here are a few Iconic Lake Charles Locations That Are Something Else

Places In Lake Charles


Library Riot - Formerly Cotton's Western Wear
If you needed a new pair of boots, a belt, a buckle, and a nice pair of western jeans, Cotton's was to place to go. I used to shop there all the time because they sold Ariat shoes and various other brands my kids would wear to school. What I missed the most was their shoe and boot repair department. You could bring them anything, and they would fix it! I would bring everything from purses and belts to high heels. I sure wish they were still open.

The property is now the site of a very nice cocktail bar, The Library Riot. It's a cool night spot serving crafts and the latest drinks, featuring a laid-back vibe.

Church of The King formally Oak Park Cinema 6
Church of The King

Church of The King - Formally Oak Park Cinema 6
Back in the early 90s, Cinema 6 was owned by Gulf States Cinemas and was one of the main theaters in the city. We would flock to the movies on the weekends to catch the new blockbuster or hang out with friends inside the arcade. The theater closed in 2000, but I'm not sure why. Once things for sure, we had so much fun there.

I lived close to the theater on 16th Street, and I'll never forget when we walked there to see Friday The 13th! We were terrified and ran all the way home. All we could think about was Jason chasing us. That was the first and last time we ever walked to the movies again too!

When Cinema 6 closed, Church of The King purchased the property. They renovated it and did a decent job of making it not look like a movie theater.


Altitude - Formally Kroger 
The old Kroger of Gerstner Memorial was our main source of grocery shopping in Oak Park and residents living in the Terrace. When it closed in 2011, it made a big impact on people who didn't have vehicles and depended on the store for groceries and prescriptions. The old Kroger got a lot of business, so it's unclear as to why it closed.

Anna's Linens and Dollar General are two other stores that are no longer open. Meanwhile, a source of entertainment has replaced Kroger for children in the area. They call it, Altitude! Kids of all ages love the trampoline playground, which is also a great place to have birthday parties and jump till you can't jump anymore.

Hobby Lobby and Sears Outlet

Lake Charles Property - Formally Hobby Lobby/Big Lot's Oak Park Square Shopping Center
Formally located on the corner of Hwy 14 and East Prien Lake Road, Hobby Lobby was a major shopping source for the community. I lived right behind the store, and I was a frequent shopper myself. Hurricane Laura destroyed the shopping strip in 2020, which also housed Sears Outlet, Big Lots, a nail shop, Cricket, and City Gear. The Hobby Lobby side of the storefront is still closed, but things are looking up as renovations near completion.

Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby was rebuilt in South Lake Charles, and Sears Outlet will not return to the old location, but Cricket and City Gear have already moved back and are open for business! According to the American Press, Big Lots may return this summer. Plus, there's plenty of space for new stores and businesses to move in! I can't wait to see what new tenants will lease the shopping center in the coming months.

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