The South’s Grandest Theatre
Designed by Emile Weil, the Saenger Theatre was built by Julian Saenger in 1927 for the theretofore unheard of price of $2.5 million dollars. Advertisements of the day described it as “an acre of seats in a garden of Florentine splendor”. Today, the interior atmospheric design creates a magnificent 15th century Italian courtyard and gardens, with arched surroundings, columns and decorative moldings. The suspension of disbelief is completed by a blue domed “sky” ceiling complete with twinkling stars. Greek and Roman statuary line the walls and statues of Venus stand on pedestals along the upper rim of the auditorium.
In 2005, the Saenger Theatre was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Yet within months of the storm, a groundswell of interest in the renovation and reopening of the theatre began to grow, and, in December 2011; the agreements to restore the theatre were finalized.
The $53 million project serves to anchor the revitalization of Canal Street and the New Orleans Central Business District and act as an economic generator attracting visitors from New Orleans and the Gulf South region to enjoy the very finest live entertainment available.
The Saenger Theatre reopened its doors in September 2013.
The Saenger Theatre restoration was a National Rehabilitation Tax Credit project, whose scope of construction served to authentically restore this historic 1927 movie palace, and transform it into a first class state-of-the-art performing arts theatre.
The restored Saenger Theatre features beautifully restored lobbies and auditorium seating area with carpeting and lighting fixtures recreated from the originals. Expanded restrooms and concessions facilities ensure the greatest comfort for our patrons.
The expanded theatre stage house will be equipped with state-of-the-art theatrical systems ensuring the Saenger will be the most technically advanced theatre in the South.