Mahalia Jackson Theater Reopens

Shuttered since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the venue in August 2005, Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts reopened with a free concert Jan. 8.

The 2,317-capacity venue has been spiffed up with a $22 million renovation after suffering basement flooding that damaged equipment including orchestra lifts.

Improvements to the theatre include a removable floor for dance performances, state-of-the-art sound system and new orchestra shell. Mayor Ray Nagin said the venue’s reopening, which was a city rebuilding priority, will show that New Orleans’ culture is back.

Mahalia Jackson Theater’s reopening schedule also includes performances by Irvin Mayfield and Yolanda Adams, violinist Itzhak Perlman and the San Francisco Ballet and tenor Placido Domingo.

Morris F.X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium was another NOLA venue that sustained water damage to its basement because of Hurricane Katrina.