NEW ORLEANS -- After a series of roadblocks and delays, the Saenger Theater has finally been brought back to life.
A $52-million renovation of the historic landmark now means its ready to entertain the masses.
On the eve of its reopening, construction crews worked into the night to put the finishing touches on this masterpiece. Years of paint and veneer stripped away to restore the Saenger to its 1927 glory.
"It was just beautiful and ornate and elegant. There was a grace to it that you don't see in modern theaters," said French Quater resident Raejean Carroll.
Carroll's family lives a few blocks away and have been watching the top-to-bottom renovations.
"We saw Devo and these guys swung repelling from the ceiling. It was really ridiculous," laughed Carroll, remembering an old show.
On Friday night Jerry Seinfeld will take to the stage to kick off the theater's post-Katrina reopening. He's one of many big acts slated to come to New Orleans as a theater boom takes over the city.
"The Civic Theater, a beautiful renovation. The Joy Theater, another beautiful renovation, and now the Saenger comes online," said Mark Romig with New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Romig said these architectural re-investments will help attract more big-name entertainers and visitors to town.
"What it does is, it sends out that message that there are so many different things that someone can experience in New Orleans from a live performance standpoint," Romig said.
As the Saenger marquee glows bright joining others now back after the storm, Carroll hopes they'll help draw more New Orleanians and visitors out to support the arts.
"I just think when you're in town after a day, wouldn't you want to go see a wonderful show?" Carroll said.