Saenger Theatre

143 N. Rampart Street,
New Orleans, LA 70112

Unfavorite 14 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 126 comments

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

Circa 1927 photo added courtesy of Henry F. Beck‎. Sign promoting the Saenger’s building costs mounted over the entryway.

spectrum
spectrum on November 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

A lot of nice photos, virtual tours and videos at the Saenger’s new official website (http://www.saengernola.com/).

The unofficial website (http://www.saengeramusements.com/theatres/nawlins/saenger/newosaeng.htm) has a lot of good historical photos and architectural renderings. Also links to pages about other Saenger-owned theatres.

zephyr
zephyr on October 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I attended the Jerry Seinfeld performance at the Saenger Saturday night. The theatre is very beautiful. I have been going there since the mid 1960’s and it is more spectacular than it has been in the last 50 years. The exterior is restored and the marquees replicate the 1927 originals nicely. The reinstallation of the lights and trellis on the rampart street side building is also very nice. The vertical sign on Canal Street has not yet been installed but renderings of the sign indicate that it will be a faithful replication of the 1927 original. The most outstanding part of the restoration is the new paint scheme by Evergreen Architectural Arts. The painting, leafing (Dutch metal), glazing and faux finishes are beautifully executed. I seriously doubt that all of the color selections are based on the 1927 originals, but the overall effect is totally in keeping with what one would expect to see in a movie palace. Details that had long been buried under decades of paint are now vividly delineated. The ceiling of the arcade has had its stenciling restored, and three replicated chandeliers illuminate this room. In the auditorium, there are more stars than ever before in the Saenger sky. The original house draperies, seating, and decorative lighting have all been lovingly restored. Awnings once again adorn the windows of this Florentine courtyard, trees and vines drape the upper parts of the courtyard walls as clouds drift overhead. The only issues that I have with the restoration is that it is not finished. In the arcade, portions of the upper walls that originally had wall covering were blank white panels. The finishes on the lounge walls were not complete. Several light fixtures in the auditorium were not working. The soloist stage house left was not completely painted and the beveled mirror appeared to be missing. At the entrance to the second balcony, house right, a large plaster urn that had once graced the top of the wall was missing. Several pieces of plaster trellis that line the upper wall of the auditorium appear to have been cut off an not replaced. In fact, if you look closely you can see the inside of the end of the false trellis work where no attempt was even made to disguise the damage. Finally the profusion of oversized refreshment counters in the orchestra and mezzanine lobbies restricts pedestrian flow and generally diminishes the beautifully of the restored spaces.

With all of this to see, Jerry Seinfeld was a little superfluous.

zephyr
zephyr on September 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

The Saenger opens tonight. I have been following the renovation closely. From the photographs on the internet and the site visits that I have made, I believe that the finished product is spectacular and far beyond my expectations.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Here is an article about the progress being made on the restoration efforts, with pictures. Original chandeliers have been found, and there are hopes of eventually restoring the theater’s organ.

zephyr
zephyr on February 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Work began on restorig the Saenger in January. Since the renovation was announced, the budget has increased to over $50 million. The 1950’s marquee and other exteriotr signs have been removed. The stagehouse is currently being dismantled to make way for a new, state of the art, enlarged stage.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

Saenger grand opening ad from July 23rd, 1964 has been uploaded to the photo page.

zephyr
zephyr on July 25, 2011 at 5:19 am

The tax credits have been extended and signed into law by the Govenor. The developers are finalizing their financing. Work should begin in the fall

spectrum
spectrum on March 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Their official website is back up at http://thesaengertheatre.com/

Mostly it’s a place holder saying more details on the renovation will come soon and has links to their productions at Mahalia jackson theatre.

This article http://www.wdsu.com/r/27209846/detail.html

points out that the repairs still hasn’t started yet, as the legislature is working out an extension to the developer’s tax credits. They’re still hoping to have it reopened for the 2012-2013 season.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 31, 2010 at 10:51 am

interesting stories,the media makes you think New Orleans is forgotten.Great pictures again guys.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Great postcards Don.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm

From the 1940s a postcard view of Canal Street along with the Saenger and Loew’s Theatres in New Orleans.

jazzland
jazzland on August 27, 2010 at 6:29 am

The Loew’s State Theatre and the Saenger Theatre are directly across Canal Street from each other. The entrances may be offset 50' or so with the Loew’s State entrance being closer to the foreground in the postcard.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm

From the early 1930s a postcard view of the Saenger and Loewe’s State Theatres on Canal Street in New Orleans.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Thanks for the comment Chuck. I certainly wasn’t around back then, but just by chance “onasill” has left a comment saying that is how it looked. He has a vast and impressive collection of theater photos as I know you have so I can’t debate it either way.

Don…

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm

From the 1930s a postcard view of Canal Street along with the Saenger and Loew’s State Theatres in New Orleans.

ArthurHardy
ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Announcing a book about New Orleans Movie Theaters

THEREâ€\S ONE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
The History of the Neighborhood Theaters in New Orleans
is being written by 89-year-old Rene Brunet, the dean of the motion picture industry in Louisiana, and New Orleans historian and preservationist Jack Stewart. The 160-page,coffee table book will be released in November and is being published by Arthur Hardy Enterprises, Inc. Attention will be focused on 50 major neighborhood and downtown theaters, culled from a list of nearly 250 that have dotted the cityâ€\s landscape since the first “nickelodeon” opened in 1896 at 626 Canal Street. The book will be divided by neighborhoods and will open with a map and a narrative about each area. Each major theater will feature “then and now” photographs, historic information, and a short series of quotes from famous New Orleanians and from regular citizens who will share their recollections.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
We are trying to acquire memorabilia and additional photos of this theater for this publication. (deadline July 1.) You will be credited in the book and receive a free autographed copy if we publish the picture that you supply. Please contact Arthur Hardy at or call 504-913-1563 if you can help.

Coate
Coate on February 25, 2010 at 9:06 pm

<<< I have heard that this was the Crescent City’s first 70mm house. >>>

No, that would be the Panorama.

Bway
Bway on February 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

I’m sorry, I posted the wrong link above, that was of the Joy Theater….
Here’s the photo of the Saenger I meant to link to:

Click here for photo

Bway
Bway on February 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

Here’s a photo I took of two streetcars in New Orleans last week, but I noticed I got the marquee of the old Saenger in the background.
The marquee says:

WE DAT!!
WORLD CHAMPION SAINTS!

The theater itself looked horrible though. The right side of the building had all the windows boarded up, and plywood covered all the entrance doors. The place looked awful….Hopefully the place gets renovated, as it used to look so good.

Click here for photo

jazzland
jazzland on November 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

Check out the latest on the Saenger restoration at this site

View link

meflaherty
meflaherty on September 3, 2009 at 11:11 am

My favorite place to see a movie in the late 50’s to mid 60’s, maybe ever! I remember my granddad taking me to see a Martin & Lewis comedy in the 50’s. Some of my best movie memories of “Barefoot in the Park”, “Sunday In New York” and “This Property Is Condemned” were had at the Saenger. It seems like only yesterday. I thought it was sacrilige when they divided the house, cutting off the balcony and was later thrilled when it was restored.

As a “live” theatre saw “42nd Street”, Liza Minnelli, and Whitney Houston at the Saenger. What a fabulous venue.

jazzland
jazzland on August 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

More good news about the Saenger and a color interior photo at this website.

View link

celloman
celloman on August 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I don’t see any mention of restoring the organ or maybe it’s in with “replacement of ALL mechanical, HVAC, and electrical systems”.???
Who knows?