Eight years after Hurricane Katrina's winds tore holes in its roof and floodwaters destroyed much of its interior and contents, the Saenger Theatre has reopened.
David Anderson, President/CEO of ACE Theatrical Group, the company that will manage the Saenger, says the 2,613-seat theater will look much the way it did when it originally opened in 1927.
"Not only are the beautiful chandeliers there that you've never seen before, but the ceiling, that is spectacularly painted and detailed, was also really never seen before and is now brilliantly lit and available for everybody to enjoy," Anderson said.
The new Saenger, which received an infusion of nearly $53 million, features a larger stage made possible by the closure of a section of Iberville Street behind the theater, between Basin and N. Rampart Streets. The larger stage means the Saenger will be able to host large shows that it wasn't able to host before.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld kicked off the reopening with a performance on Friday night.
"He was we thought an artist of significant weight, significant importance and appeal that we decided that he would be our first performance," Anderson said.
Anderson says the Saenger will be primarily a live entertainment venue and will feature acts as diverse as the city itself.
"We want the entire community to come in and enjoy performances and enjoy the venue in which they're held, and we can't wait to show it off," Anderson said.