City Celebrates Return of Iconic Saenger Theatre to Downtown New Orleans
Built in 1927 by noted New Orleans architect Emile Weil, the Saenger Theatre is a remarkable example of Italian Renaissance architecture and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was significantly damaged by Hurricane Katrina and has since been the focus of complex redevelopment through a public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans, Canal Street Development Corporation, and ACE Theatrical Group.
The Saenger Theatre has been meticulously restored to its original, 1927 grandeur with historically replicated carpet, original and replicated chandeliers, and a historically accurate paint scheme. Modern technical upgrades, including new fiberoptic stars in the auditorium and expanded restroom and concession facilities, make the theatre a state-of-the-art live entertainment venue. Years of paint and veneer have been stripped away inside the theatre and the original color palette has been restored. Architects have worked to recreate the theatre’s original interior look and feel, including the decorative elements and ornamentation, windows and doors, light fixtures and poster boxes. The stage house has been expanded, allowing for larger productions and a wide range of programs.
“Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “This newly restored, iconic stage house is both essential to our cultural identity and serves as a symbol of how we are building back better than before.”
The Saenger Theatre will now be home to a spectacular lineup of live entertainment, opening with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The Saenger Theatre Grand Opening Gala Concert with Kristin Chenoweth and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will be Saturday, October 5, 2013. This fall, the theatre will also host the sensational East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans 2013-2014 season, showcasing the best of Broadway, including The Book of Mormon, Ghost the Musical, Sister Act, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Memphis, War Horse, and Rain.
The Saenger Theatre reopens with a seating capacity of approximately 2,600. The restoration was led by renowned architecture firm Martinez + Johnson of Washington, DC and construction was performed by Broadmoor Construction of Metairie, LA.
The Saenger Theatre Renewal Project could not have occurred without the financial support from the following institutions: Chevron TCI, Inc.; JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA; Liberty Bank and Trust Company; National Trust Community Investment Corporation; State of Louisiana, Office of Community Development; Stonehenge Capital Company, LLC; Tax Credit Capital, LLC; and Whitney Bank.