POSTED: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 1:20pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 1:21pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDSU) — Mayor Mitch Landrieu says that the stalled renovation of the Saenger Theatre on Canal Street is set to resume in January and that the theater should be able to reopen in the spring of 2013, more than a year later than originally planned.
The theater has been shuttered since Hurricane Katrina. The project's price tag -- pegged at about $39 million when it was first announced in January 2009 -- now stands at $51 million.
Restoration plans call for the renovated theater to reflect the way it looked when it opened in 1927 as a playhouse before morphing into the city's preeminent movie palace.
Landrieu says financing for the theater's renovation is in place.
Original decorative elements at the Saenger will be restored and the stagehouse expanded, allowing the facility to accommodate larger productions and touring shows.
The announcement came within days of the reopening of the long-shuttered Joy Theater across Canal Street. The former movie house is now a multi-purpose live events facility.
"You can see now the excitement on Canal Street, with the bioinformation center, the redevelopment of the Iberville housing development, the Joy and now the Saenger -- so it's really an exciting time," Landrieu said.