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Saenger Theatre Renovation

Saenger TheatreThe Saenger Theater in New Orleans opened in 1927 as a much-acclaimed movie palace and vaudeville theater. Today, it is still noted among theater and architectural historians nationally as a scarce, surviving example of Atmospheric Theater Design from that era. The theater was severely damaged in the flood following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and remained closed, as a result, for several years. Finally, in 2010, through a partnership between the City of New Orleans and a private development firm, Broadmoor was selected to handle the extensive restoration of this important community landmark.

The historic theater consists of an auditorium seating approximately 2,800 patrons in a replicated Venetian Renaissance Piazza, with ornately decorated lobbies, entrance arcades, and basement support spaces attached. To meet the demands of today's sophisticated theater productions, a larger stage and higher fly loft were needed, along with upgraded back-of-house facilities. Broadmoor performed the salvage of the original stage house and constructed an expanded concrete and steel structure at the facility’s rear, consisting of a full basement, new stage floor, and a five-floor support tower. In the auditorium itself, the balcony seating tiers were reconfigured to improve patron sightlines for this expanded stage.

Modifications performed throughout the building brought the major public facility into compliance with updated building codes. An adjacent four-floor historic building of the same era, originally built as a hotel, was also restored to house further amenities as well.

The Saenger Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the restoration project was therefore eligible for historic tax credits. As a result, the work was consistently performed to ensure the approval of the U.S. National Park Service. The facility ultimately opened to broad acclaim in September of 2013, ready to once again meet the demands of a wider range of entertainment including full Broadway productions for the City of New Orleans.

Owner: Canal Street Development Corporation

Architect: Martinez + Johnson Architecture

Contract Value: $52,000,000

Size: 2,800 Seats

Services: General Contractor


 

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