Theatres in New Orleans

Theater in New Orleans has an extensive history dating back to the 18th century. Starting with Le Spectacle de la Rue St. Pierre, a small French Quarter theater that showcased talent from the French West Indies, the theatrical arts grew to become one of the largest sources of economic revenue in the city as well as a cultural hub of innovation for actors nationwide. In fact, the first opera in America was held in New Orleans. Today, our traditions continue in a growing theater community housed by revived historic buildings that have hosted talent from around the world. 

The Joy Theater
1200 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Seated along Canal Street, the Joy Theater opened its doors in 1947 as the first of the original four movie houses in New Orleans. It was considered a modern movie theater with its iconic neon marquee and modern architecture. In 2011, after nearly a decade of closure, the Joy Theater was renovated and reopened as a contemporary venue for live music, theatrical performances and special events. The Joy Theater has hosted world famous artists such as Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, Jr., The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and many more. The Joy welcomes locals and visitors for stage plays, live musical performances and more.

The Civic Theater
510 O'Keefe Ave.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
Built in 1906, the Civic is the oldest theater in New Orleans. Recently reopened, this historic beauty has been refitted with technological innovations that make it one of the most versatile theatres in the city, including a modular flooring system that can be raised and lowered to create customized event settings. The team at the Civic has partnered with renowned mixologist Neal Bodenheimer, of local favorites Cure and Bellocq, to showcase a one-of-a-kind cocktail menu with organic ingredients and spirits made from American distilleries. The Civic offers critically acclaimed entertainment with the experience that only a world class venue can provide.

Saenger Theatre
1111 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
After a multi-million dollar renovation, the Saenger Theatre has been reopened as one of the most artistically elegant theatres of the southern United States. New amenities include an expanded theatre stage house to host the best performing arts attractions, additional concessions and restroom facilities, and restoration to the original 1927 design. Only a stone's throw away from the Canal Streetcar line, the Saenger is a premier theatre with first-class service, professional management and the top plays, musicians and comedians from all over the world all under one roof.

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
616 Saint Peter Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, also known as the "Little Theatre," has bordered the historic French Quarter since 1922, making it one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Since its inception, Le Petit has hosted thousands of local and national performances, gaining its reputation as the place to see live theatre in the South. The theatre completed a multi-million dollar restoration in 2013 to create an even better experience for the audience. As part of the revamp, the new restaurant Tableau sits abound to the theatre, which serves classic French Creole dishes using regional ingredients with a unique twist. The two companies deliver a perfect opportunity to indulge in some of the best cuisine and entertainment New Orleans has to offer.

Southern Rep Theatre
6221 South Claiborne Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70125
Southern Rep has quickly become the cradle of contemporary arts in New Orleans, featuring original performances made to reflect the individualism and diversity of the city. The only year round professional theatre in the city creates a constant work environment for theatre professionals to develop. Performers continue to entertain the masses while giving back to the city it loves educational and outreach programs.


Photo by Jackson Hill


Photo by John Barrios


Photo by John Barrios


Photo courtesy of Le Petit Theatre