Saenger Theater – New Orleans

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The Saenger Theater is located in New Orleans, Louisiana and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the flagship of the empire of Julian and Abe Saenger, today it is one of the few remaining Saenger movie palaces. The Saenger Theater opened on February 4, 1927. The 4000-seat theater took three years to build and cost $ 2.5 million. Its opening involved thousands in a parade on the streets of the canal. The price of the ticket was 65 cents, and the bill for each performance included a play and silent film (produced by the Corporation of Paramount-Publix), and the music of the Saenger Grand Orchestra.

The architect Emile Weil designed the interior of the theater to remember an Italian Baroque courtyard. Weil installed 150 lights on the ceiling of the theater, arranged in the form of constellations of the night sky. The theater also uses special effects machines to project images of moving clouds, sunrises and sunsets throughout the interior of the theater. In 1929, Julian Saenger sold the theater for $ 10 million to Paramount Publix, which continued to operate successfully during the Great Depression. In 1933, Paramount Publix turned the theater into “talking pictures” only.

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