As a crown jewel of Hattiesburg Mississippi and part of the Saenger Amusement Company, the 997-seat Saenger Theater was one of seven theaters built and operated throughout the South by the Saenger brothers, Abe and Julian. Designed by New Orleans architect Emile Weil, the Saenger Theater is one of Mississippi’s few remaining examples of the movie-palace type theater. It’s characteristics are typical of the Neoclassical Revival style and Art Deco Style, including Mayan-inspired elements. Built in 1929, the Saenger was originally a venue to show silent movies. It was constructed at a time when theaters were among the first public structures to benefit from air-conditioning systems. The theater boasts a 778-pipe Robert Morton Pipe Organ. It is one of the few Robert Morton organs in the United States that is still used in a theater.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater underwent a $3.75 million renovation in 2000, restoring the Saenger Theater to much of its original grandeur. Today the Saenger Theater presents a wide range of events and draws throngs of people to downtown Hattiesburg.
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