Saenger Theatre
Pensacola, Florida

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118 S. Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL
1802 seats
Opened: 1925
Architect: Emile Weil


Palafox Street & the Pensacola Saenger at night, ca. 1947


Click the pictures for a closer look at some photographs from around 1974

  The auditorium still retained its original Spanish Mission decoration scheme (although a bit worn).  
  The auditorium shows its scars from the removal of the opera boxes beneath the organ grilles.



The lounge can be seen to have had its carpet replaced & plain gold drapes hung by ABC Theatres.  

Photographs courtesy of Dr. Barry Henry


ABC Theatres removed the theatre's 35mm projectors when the building was sold to the city in 1975.
In 1981, the Pensacola Saenger theatre underwent a massive remodeling, & emerged very much changed:

  The opera boxes were restored, from the original blueprints  
  New carpet was installed, & the seats re-upholstered  
  The auditorium's paint scheme was simplified  
  The proscenium's valance was removed, & a large awning hanging over the horn for the new house PA system was installed  
  The 3-color house lighting system was disabled & changed to white-bulbs-only  
  The onstage electrical panel was removed, & new dimmers & control for stage lighting installed  
  Modifications to the stage's rigging encompassed removal of the oak grid above the stage & its replacement by a steel grid  
  The "hemp house" sandbag fly system was replaced by a track-mounted counterweight system  
  The facade was altered to incorporate a modern, rounded awning  
  The arcade & surrounding commercial spaces were reconstructed to create a more modern entryway, concession area, & offices  


Later alterations:

  The movie screen was removed  
  The rear wall of the orchestra pit was demolished, to extend the pit beneath the stage  



Other information:

  Saenger Theatre, official web site of the Pensacola Saenger Theatre

Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society, information about the Pensacloa Saenger Theatre's Robert Morton theatre organ
Pensacola Saenger Theater, WBSR radio web site, with photo
Saenger Theatre Restoration
Saenger Theater , organ console photographs from the Pensacloa Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Saenger Theatre
Ticketmaster Online - Saenger Theatre, event listing & seating chart



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Copyright © 1997 -2009, William Hooper.