Saenger Theatre was once the live entertainment gem of New Orleans. Built in 1927, the theater's interior was designed to epitomize an Italian courtyard. It underwent some changes through the decades, and the venue was unfortunately delivered a bit of a knock-out punch by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Saenger Theatre in New Orleans — Photo courtesy of Saenger Theatre
For the past eight years, the property has undergone ownership changes, reconstruction and shifts in creative direction. Finally, in September 2013, the Saenger reopened to much fanfare. Jerry Seinfeld kicked off the theater's rebirth with three straight sold-out stand-up comedy performances.
The restoration process cost over $50 million, and it was governed by the goal of returning the theater to its former glory. Experts used old pictures to refit the building with the same fixtures, color schemes and furniture as the original Saenger had. The mammoth 2000-pipe Robert Mortan organ had taken a little water damage. But now it's back operating at full capacity these days.
Upcoming acts at Saenger Theatre include Broadway shows (The Book of Mormon, Sister Act, Ghost, Beauty and the Beast, etc), concerts (Dave Matthews, Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt) and comedic performances (Bill Maher and Chris Tucker).
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans, the Saenger is a great place to see a New Orleans show in a vintage environment. Tickets are flying out of the box office after Seinfeld's opening weekend success.