This page was last modified on 15 March 2013, at 02:13
Louisiana Lou was a contest run by the Times Picayune, where girls would compete for the leading role in a photoplay. The contest began on February 20th, 1916 when the Times Picayune announced they would be holding contests for actresses, and that girls from fifteen different districts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Texas, Arkansas and Florida would be eligible to compete. Winners would be voted for by Times readers, through a “voting coupon” that would appear in the newspaper daily, and the prize was a role in the Times Picayune photoplay and $100. Fourteen runners up would win $50 apiece. 
The Times Picayune periodically published updates on the progress of filming the piece [Times Picayune March 27 1916: web], sometimes inviting readers to show up and act as extras [Times Picayune Feb 23 1916: web].
In June of 1916 it was announced that Edward H. Griffith of the Thomas A. Edison, Inc. would direct the production, and the cameraman was John F. Collins. [Times Picayune Feb 2 1912: web].
Throughout the continuation of the Louisiana Lou contest, the Times Picayune provided information on the plot of Louisiana Lou, characters, actors and the contest finalists [Times Picayune June 26 1912: web].
Louisiana Lou as a Method of Boosterism
Stars as commodities was not a novel invention when the Louisiana Lou contest was first held. Even at the dawn of the film industry, production companies such as Edison, Kalem, and Vitagraph used their stars to promote their films. As the film industry lost some of its novelty, stars became a way of differentiating products. The Louisiana Lou contest was a prime example of marketing a film using both the idea of stars as commodities and civic pride. Similar to other New Orleans-based productions that came after, such as Treme, the Louisiana Lou film and contest employed local talent, cultures, and locations to make the city a focus of the entertainment industry. 
- Times Picayune Feb 2 1916.
- Balio, Tino. The American Film Industry. Struggles for Control’