Saenger Theatre Repoens After $52 Million Restoration
Today, Mayor Landrieu, City officials, Canal Street Development Corporation, and representatives of ACE Theatrical Group celebrated the reopening of the historic Saenger Theatre at 1111 Canal Street following a $52 million restoration. 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 is once again the crown jewel of Canal Street and its rebirth is a significant moment in New Orleans' continuing recovery from Hurricane Katrina," 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. Combined with new state-of-the-art features and the authentic restoration to its original 1927 design, the new Saenger Theatre will redefine the live entertainment marketplace in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. Audiences will be as amazed by the fully restored theatre's fine attention to detail as they are to the world class acts it will attract."
"Today marks a new chapter in the New Orleans entertainment marketplace," said David Anderson, President and CEO of ACE Theatrical Group. "We are proud to introduce the authentically-restored Saenger with state-of-the-art technology and first-class amenities that will provide a place for families and visitors to attend performances they will never forget. Our partnership with the City of New Orleans has been a key factor in successfully restoring this iconic landmark and should be used as a model for theatres around the country."
"The renovation of the historic Saenger Theatre is a significant moment in the continued revitalization of the Canal Street corridor," said David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Canal Street Development Corporation. "In partnership with the City of New Orleans and ACE Theatrical Group, we have fully restored this cherished landmark that will once again serve as an important anchor that will spur growth and redevelopment along Canal Street and beyond."
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 fiber optic 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. 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.
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "Since childhood with my grandmother to taking my own grandchildren there, the Saenger Theatre has been a family and city favorite! Its diverse shows of quality entertainment are much welcomed back to Canal Street."
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head said, "Every project is important as we continue to rebuild our city. The Saenger Theatre project, however, is special. It is, perhaps, the most anticipated post-Katrina redevelopment project-one that as an At-Large Councilmember, I am asked about often. So many memories have been made here, by locals and visitors alike. It is a piece of our history, a critical component to our arts-based economy, and a major piece of our cultural fabric. I am so pleased to be a part of the celebration of the reopening of this iconic theatre, and to welcome back Broadway to Canal Street! Many thanks to Mayor Landrieu's administration, the Canal Street Development Corporation, ACE Theatrical Group, the Downtown Development District, and many others who have worked for many years to bring back the Saenger."