The Shubert Organization has announced that the newly renamed James Earl Jones Theatre will be unveiled on Sept. 12.
The theater, formerly known as the Cort, will be officially named in a ceremony on 48th Street that will include tours of the venue, special performances and the reveal of the new marquee. The event will be open to invited guests and members of the press.
As previously announced, the Shubert Organization chose Jones as the theater’s new namesake, following through with its intention to rename one of its venues after a BIPOC theater legend, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The dedication of the James Earl Jones Theatre honors one of the most beloved Broadway and film actors of all time,” Shubert chairman and CEO Robert E. Wankel said. “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.”
During the pandemic, the building underwent a $47 million restoration and expansion, including refurbishment of the interior and facade, and the completion of a new annex designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects.
Now fully accessible, the 110-year-old theater also features new restrooms and lounges for patrons and a rehearsal space and offices for staff.
The first production to play the James Earl Jones Theatre will be a new staging of Adrienne Kennedy’s “Ohio State Murders” starring Audra McDonald.
The Cort Theatre originally opened in 1912 and was sold to the Shuberts in 1927.