The 2,000-seat Saenger Theatre first opened in 1927, part of a chain of theatres that were built throughout the South and in Cuba and Puerto Rico by J.H. and A.D. Saenger of New Orleans. Entertainment included vaudeville shows, silent movies, and dramatic and musical productions, as well as live appearances by stars such as Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, and Mary Martin.
The newly renovated Saenger opened in January 2005, with a sold-out performance by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Other programming highlights include performances by Norah Jones, Neil Young, Ray LaMontagne and Levon Helm, Wilco, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The Saenger Theatre is home to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and also is host to movie festivals, concerts, lectures and special events.