Shubert Organization will open the James Earl Jones Theater on September 12

James Earl Jones (Photo: Jemal Countess/WireImage for Tony Award Productions)

The Shubert Organization has announced that the new James Earl Jones Theater will be unveiled on September 12.

The theater, formerly known as Cort, will be officially named at 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 guests and members of the press.

As previously announced, the Shubert Organization has chosen Jones as the theater’s new namesake, following through on plans to rename one of its venues after theater legend BIPOC, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The grand opening of the James Earl Jones Theater honors one of the most beloved Broadway and film actors of all time,” said Shubert Chairman and CEO Robert E. Wankel. “It is fitting that the renaming of this beautifully restored building is also a moment to recognize the enormous contribution of the folks at BIPOC to Broadway. Mr. Jones’ name quickly rose to the top of the Shubert Organization’s list due to his illustrious career in Shubert homes, his status in the black community and his worldwide reputation as one of the artists the most famous to ever grace the Broadway stage.

During the pandemic, the building underwent a $47 million restoration and expansion, including interior and facade renovations, and the completion of a new addition designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects.

Now fully accessible, the 110-year-old theater also includes new guest toilets and lounges, as well as rehearsal space and staff offices.

The first production to play at the James Earl Jones Theater will be a new staging of Adrienne Kennedy’s “Ohio State Murders” starring Audra McDonald.

The Cort Theater opened in 1912 and was sold to the Shuberts in 1927.


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