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Canal Place Welcomes Iconic Prytania Theatre to Downtown New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – O’Connor Capital Partners today announced that the Prytania Theatre will open a second location this year at Canal Place, New Orleans’ premier luxury retail destination.

The Prytania Theatre, New Orleans’ oldest operating theatre will open their Downtown New Orleans location, Prytania Theatres at Canal Place, this November 2020 in a 21,762 square foot space on the third level of the center.

“We are very excited to welcome The Prytania Theatres at Canal Place,” said Lisa Manzella, General Manager of Canal Place. “Both institutions have a long standing heritage of serving New Orleans residents and visitors, and we are thrilled to now have the Prytania as part of Canal Place. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner to bring our theatre back to life, and look forward to the stellar programming they will bring to this downtown location.”

The Prytania Theatre is the longest continually operated theatre in the South and is well-known for its eclectic selection of movies, alternating between modern blockbusters and classic films. The Prytania Theatres at Canal Place will be a multi-screen theatre and offer classic movie theatre snacks and drinks including popcorn, candy, soft drinks, and ICEEs. Additionally, they will have a full bar and plan to expand their food menu in the future. The multi screens will allow for social distancing to take place and the theatre will operate under all of the guidelines of CinemaSafe.org.

“We are excited and proud to bring the charm and character of the Uptown Neighborhood Prytania Theatre to Downtown New Orleans, the French Quarter, CBD and Warehouse District Neighborhoods,” said Robert Brunet.  “It is our intention to bring similar programming to Canal Place, including First-run films, Classic films, Specialty films, Film festivals, locally produced films, Movie Premieres, Birthday Parties and more.”

Rene Brunet Sr. operated several neighborhood theatres beginning in 1907. After his death in 1946, his son, Rene Brunet Jr., took over the Imperial Theatre and operated as many as six New Orleans neighborhood theatres at one time.  Rene Brunet, Jr passed away in August 2017 at the age of 96. Once again the torch was passed to Robert, who now operates the theatre, alongside his daughters Paige, Peyton & Perrin.  Eric Ramstead is the General Manager of the Prytania Theatre, who will also be the General Manager and Partner of the Prytania Theatres at Canal Place.  Similarly, Raymond Landry and John and Gayle Gish will continue to guide and counsel Brunet and Ramstead with this new venture, consistent with their long-time roles with the Prytania Theatre.

Canal Place is Downtown New Orleans’ premier destination for luxury fashion and beauty brands, boutique clothing stores, home goods and much more. Canal Place is home to the notable WITH LOVE FROM nola moss wall, one of New Orleans’ most Instagrammable spots. Additionally, the lush landscaping and modern renovations have begun to evolve the experience that distinguishes shopping at Canal Place from the rest of the city.


History of the Prytania Theatre

The Prytania Theatre opened December 20, 1914, 106 years ago. which was nicknamed “The Little Saenger”. Lovely chandeliers and handcrafted plaster design work abound the theatre. The Prytania boasted a beautiful pipe organ. Uptown residents honored the Prytania with their patronage and it remained a neighborhood picture palace until the United Theatres leased it to a group who called it the “Energy” Theatre. Energy converted it to a live performance theatre, which was not successful. The theatre reverted to showing movies and was not successful until Rene Brunet, Jr. took over the operation in approximately 1996. During Hurricane Katrina, the Pryania Theatre was damaged and required renovations.  The property owners, John and Gayle Gish partnered with the Brunets to renovate the Prytania and convert it to New Orleans first State-of-the-Art 4K and 3D Digital Cinema.  The Brunet family has been historically known to save and re-open closed theatres in the New Orleans area. Canal Place is the latest to be added to that list. Previous re-opened theatres include the Prytania Theatre, Joy Theatre, Loew’s State Theatre (State Palace), Carver Theatre, Clabon Theatre, Famous Theatre, Gallo Theatre, Circle Theatre, Beverly Drive-in (Hattiesburg, MS), Cinema City 7 (Shreveport), and Cinema City 8 (Texarkana).


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