There's been an ongoing effort to breathe some life back into old theaters around town and the Carver Theater is about ready to join that party. The Tremé neighborhood historic landmark that's been shuttered since the storm re-opens next month after an $8 million make-over. The 16,000-square foot entertainment spot has room for 600 and will host musical acts and stage productions. Built in 1950, it was one of the first theaters to cater to black audiences when the Jim Crow laws mandated segregation.
The Carver closed in 1980 and re-opened as a medical clinic in 1984. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina left about five feet of water sloshing around the clinic and after the owner, Eugene Oppman, gutted the building with his crew, he decided it needed to be a theater again. He initially thought the reno would be a little over half a million bucks, but hey-yo, tax credits! This led to him purchasing 17 surrounding lots, getting rid of some neighborhood blight, and throwing community plans into the mix. The Edward "Kidd" Jordan Jazz Institute, named for the local saxophone legend, will open across the street and offer artsy kids educational opportunities.
· Treme's Carver Theater poised for new life [The Advocate]
· The Historic Carver Theater [official site]