by Marie-Laure Bourbon, published here in agreement with the author
The future of the site is uncertain
The maison de la gaieté was a popular place for entertainment and going out untill the 1970’s. Later the attention of the public became lesser. Sources on the internet are not clear about what happened in 1980’s and 1990’s, but anyhow at a given moment the community became the owner of the empty property and in the early years 2010 there were talks about transforming the site into a museum. The then mayor of the community apparently backed these plans.
However, after local elections a new council and a new mayor took office and in august 2014 the council decided to demolish the Maison de la Gaieté and ask Bâtiments de France (the french national building authority) an advice about this.
This decision generated public discussion and in november 2014 an association of friends was founded, which organized a petition to save and renew the Maison de la Gaieté.
Also because of this action the Maison de la Gaieté on august 8, 2015 was added to the Inventaire des Monuments Historiques (Historical Monuments Inventory), since it is “un témoignage d’art brut comme l’est à Nantillé le Jardin de Gabriel Albert en cours de restauration” (“a testimony of art brut as is the garden of Gabriel Albert in Nantillé ¹, which is being restored”).
In april 2015 the Association pour le renouveau de la Maison de la Gaieté opened a page on Facebook.
Untill now (february 2017) no further developments have been reported on this FB page.
* Article in regional newspaper Sud Ouest (august 2014)
* Article in weblog le Poignard Subtil (september 2014)
* Denis Montebello, La maison de la Gaieté, Bazas (Eds Le temps qu’il fait), 2017. -88p
* Facebook page of the Association pour le renouveau de la Maison de Gaieté
* Series of pictures in a video (2015) by Marie-Laure Bourbon (6’14”, Youtube, downloaded june 2015)
¹ Gabriel Albert’s sculpture garden is located in Nantillé, some 26 kms north of Chérac. Some 17 kms north of Chérac, in Brizambourg, one could see Franck Vriet’s art environment (no longer extant)
Ismaël and Guy Villéger