Client: Canal Street Development Corporation
Location: New Orleans, LA
Architect: Martinez + Johnson Architecture
Date of Completion: September 2013
The Saenger Theatre 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 Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and remained closed as a result for several years. In 2010 through a partnership between the City of New Orleans and a private development firm, Broadmoor was selected to complete the extensive restoration of this important community landmark.
This 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. To meet the demands of today’s sophisticated theater productions, a larger stage and higher fly loft were added, along with upgraded back-of-house facilities. Broadmoor salvaged the original stage house and constructed an expanded concrete and steel structure, consisting of a full basement, new stage floor, and a 5-floor support tower. In the auditorium, the balcony seating tiers were reconfigured to improve patron sight lines for the expanded stage. Modifications performed throughout the building brought the major public facility into compliance with updated building codes. An adjacent four story historic building of the same era, originally built as a hotel, was also restored to house additional building amenities.
The facility ultimately re-opened to broad acclaim in September of 2013, ready to once again meet the demands of a wide range of entertainment including full Broadway productions for the City of New Orleans.