James Earl Jones Theatre Set For Official Renaming And Dedication Ceremony

The September 12th name change honors the illustrious actor.

Broadway’s Cort Theatre will officially receive a name change to honor James Earl Jones, one of the greatest on both stage and screen.

According to Deadline, the 110-year-old building located in Manhattan’s Theater District will have an official renaming and dedication ceremony on Monday (September 12). The ceremony will be open to invited guests and press. Special performances and tours of the venue’s new entrance are planned.

Substantial renovation and construction on the building was commissioned by the theater’s owner, Shubert Organization throughout the years of the Covid pandemic, with architecture leadership from Francesca Russo Architect. A new annex, expanded accessibility, more public space, added dressing rooms and rehearsal space was designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects.

All together, the renovation was a $47 million project.

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The name change to honor Jones was announced earlier this year.

“The dedication of the James Earl Jones Theatre honors one of the most beloved Broadway and film actors of all time,” said Shubert Chairman and CEO Robert E. Wankel in a statement. “It’s fitting that the renaming of this beautifully restored building also be a moment in which to recognize the tremendous contribution of BIPOC people to Broadway. Mr. Jones’s name quickly rose to the top of the Shubert Organization’s list due to his illustrious career performing in Shubert houses, his status in the Black community, and his worldwide reputation as one of the most celebrated performers to ever grace the Broadway stage.”

Jones appeared in a total of 14 Broadway productions at Shubert theaters, two of which were at the Cort. He performed in a total of 21 Broadway shows and won Tony Awards for 1969’s The Great White Hope and 1987’s Fences.

He made his Broadway debut at the Cort in 1958, for Sunrise at Campobello.

For me standing in this very building 64 years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today,” said Jones in a statement. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.”

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