Saenger Theatre History

Erected in January 1927, the stately, European-style Saenger Theatre has witnessed thousands of top performers, acts, ballets and musicals and has hosted silent movies, vaudeville shows, movies and was the setting for the first America’s Junior Miss pageant. The Saenger Theatre took one year and about $500,000 to construct and remains a historic landmark, treasured for its architectural beauty and ties to our cultural history.

When the theater closed in 1970, it was saved on the eve of its demolition when the University of South Alabama stepped in and purchased the landmark. It was partially renovated and re-opened as a performing arts center called the USA Saenger Theatre.

In 1999, the City of Mobile purchased the Saenger from USA. A non-profit organization, the Center for the Living Arts, Inc., was formed early in 2000 to operate the Saenger. The Center for the Living Arts, with generous donations from the community, restored the historic Mobile Saenger to its former glory, at a cost of about $6 million.

The Saenger Theatre of Mobile now functions as a performing arts center and is the official home of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.

Personal Property

We regret that the management cannot be responsible for patrons’ personal apparel or property. Lost and found inquiries may be directed to the Saenger Theatre’s administrative offices, 251-208-5605.

Photographs & Recording

Cameras and recording devices may not be brought into the Theatre without the consent of the Saenger Theatre Management. Please note that recording in any form of a live performance may be a violation of federal copyright laws.


Restrooms are located in the Arcade and on the mezzanine and balcony levels.


The Saenger Theatre is a smoke-free facility.


Emergency calls may be received on the Saenger Theatre’s courtesy phone, at 251-208-5610. As a courtesy to other patrons, please disconnect electronic paging devices and turn off cellular telephones.

Fire Notice

The exit sign nearest the seat you occupy is the shortest route to the street in the event of fire or other emergency. Please follow the instructions of ushers or other theatre personnel.

Food and Beverages

Beverage service is available in the lobbies before performances and during intermissions. Alabama law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. No outside food or beverages may be brought into the auditorium.


It is recommended that patrons who are prone to feeling cold in air conditioned spaces bring a light jacket.