Mahalia Jackson Theatre
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
New Orleans, Louisiana
Fueled by a local initiative to reinvigorate the cultural arts district, investors set out to renovate and repair existing theatre facilities. The Mahalia Jackson was the first in this initiative and it has since hosted a talented cadre of locally and internationally lauded musicians.
As a result of the efforts set forth by many ambitious locals, the reemergence of The New Orleans Cultural Arts District, located along the Rampart Street corridor between Canal Street and Armstrong Park has begun strengthening the existing performing art venues and added economic support in surrounding commercial development. Following Hurricane Katrina, the renovation and repair of this venue served as the jumping off point for this ambitions endeavor.
M+J was responsible for creating new and exciting experiences within the public spaces of the 1970’s theatre. Working with local architects and contracts M+J focused on creating a dramatic and new vision that would celebrate the rich history of performing arts in New Orleans. Beginning in the audience chamber, the configuration of the space and seating arrangements were altered and enhanced acoustical systems were provided.
These modifications have allowed for a symphony program to call the space home. Adjacent to the actual chamber space, the necessary restoration of historic materials and modernization of other important spaces was addressed. The lobby was refreshed with updated finishes and enhanced architectural lighting. The most striking example of such lighting is the oversized, crystal chandelier that survived the storm. It was outfitted with colorful LED lights and fills the space with the perfect amount of drama.
Opened in January 2009 the theatre represents the first in a series of projects for M+J in New Orleans, including the Saenger Theatre, which is focused on reinvigorating the New Orleans Cultural District.