The doors at the Saenger Theatre have been closed for 22 months. Partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and before that, the collapse of the nearby Hard Rock Hotel site. But Thursday, July 15, the doors will reopen and the curtains will rise, as comedian Sebastian Maniscalco takes to the stage.

“The first show sold out in 12 minutes. We added a second show, and it sold out,” said General Manager at the Saenger David Skinner.

Staff is preparing for the big opening day. Skinner said there’s a lot of demand for live entertainment both from patrons and performers.

“The real challenge is having enough dates right now to be honest with you. Which is a good thing to have,” he said.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy. Skinner said repairs from damage from the Hard Rock collapse had to be made, in addition to general housekeeping. The roof, he said, is just about finished. The theatre has new air filtration systems, HEPA filters throughout, and increased cleaning protocols for all touch-surfaces like doors, seats, and in the restrooms.

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