Saenger Theater reopens after hard rock collapse and COVID

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Credit: Marielle Songy

After the Hard Rock collapse and Covid forced the Saenger Theater to temporarily close, the theater is now reopened, with Broadway plays taking the stage in the months to come.

The historic theater will host shows on its legendary stage in time for the holiday season. It’s another homecoming for the Saenger, which has been no stranger to the changes. The Saenger Theater was designed by Emile Weil and built by Julian Saenger in 1927 for $ 2.5 million. The building was designed to resemble an Italian Baroque courtyard, and advertisements of the time described it as “an acre of seating in a garden of Florentine splendor”.

Since its inception, the Saenger has been sold and resold, refurbished, repaired and changed over time. In 1929, the theater was sold to Paramount Publix and operated successfully throughout the Great Depression. In 1933 it was converted into a theater of “talking pictures”.

In 1964, ABC Interstate Theaters divided the space into two different theaters – the upstairs theater was known as the SaengerOrleans. In 1978 it was sold for around $ 1 million to EB Breazeale, who spent an additional $ 3 million to convert it into a performing arts center. In 1985, the theater management team formed the Saenger Theater Partnership, Ltd., and purchased the theater from Breazeale.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded the basement of the theater and the orchestra’s seating area. The plan was to renovate the Saenger to its original glory using historical photos; However, the red tape left the theater untouched for years. While Saenger’s marquee was lit in October 2009, it wasn’t until 2013 that the theater reopened after a $ 53 million restoration.

The Saenger Theater is thrilled to welcome audiences once again for the 2021 Broadway season and has some fun lineup planned for the months to come.

Tootsie will take place at the Saenger from November 9 to 14, followed by To rent from November 26 to 28. From December 14 to 19 will take place Cats, and the Christmas season welcomes Nutcracker December 18 and 19 and Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony December 21.

As per the mandate established by the City of New Orleans, all customers aged 12 and over are required to show proof of at least one approved vaccination dose or negative PCR test within 72 hours of any event.


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