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Blakeview: The Saenger Theatre 

The landmark celebrates its 90th anniversary

click to enlarge sae.jpg

Courtesy Saenger Theatre

This week marks the 90th anniversary of a local landmark: the Saenger Theatre, which opened on Feb. 4, 1927. The theater at the corner of Canal and Rampart streets was designed by architect Emile Weil as an "atmospheric theater," with a starry ceiling, marble columns and statues reminding patrons of a 15th-century Italian courtyard. Though now home to touring Broadway shows and concerts, the Saenger was a movie theater for its first 50 years. When it became a home for musical theater in the 1970s, the Saenger welcomed stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Carol Channing, Yul Brynner and others. Musical acts including Prince, David Bowie, Diana Ross and Lena Horne have performed there. The theater was closed for eight years due to heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. It reopened in 2013 after a $53 million restoration.


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