Since being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the redevelopment of New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre, originally scheduled to reopen in 2011, is finally underway (for real this time!). The prominent theatre and performing house, first introduced in 1927 by founder Julian H. Saenger at a moderate cost of $2.5 million, has a reconstruction budget exceeding 20 times that hovering around $52 million.
Expected to open during the spring of 2013, Saenger officials are promising a familiar and culturally significant Greek and Roman décor, but will offer amenities that surpass the previous structure. With new theatre plush seating and increased concessions, the effort is quoted as being simply “remarkable.”
Shows will range from the theatrical performances and comedic concerts, to hosting special convention and film events. Emphasis will be placed on providing a mix of performance genres and disciplines, with active partnership with local agency groups. A quote from Saenger’s website reads “Producing first class entertainment on stage is what we live for and bringing all of these elements together at the same place and time is the magic of show business.”
The historic integrity of the Canal Street mainstay will be kept intact. The paint scheme will mimic the coordination from the original 1927 design and carpet patterns will replicate the original authenticity. Remember the shining vintage outdoor box office that illuminated Canal Street? Well, it will be back, this time complimented by a renovated marquee vertical sign. Judging by community enthusiasm, as well as, communication on Saenger’s website, guests will be treated to a thoroughly pleasing experience which is long overdue.
“Our philosophy emphasizes that service to our patrons begins long before they reach our front door and continues even beyond the final curtain.”