Broadway's Cort Theatre will be Reopened as the James Earl Jones Theatre
The Shubert Organization announced that Broadway's Cort Theatre will be reopened this summer under a new name: The James Earl Jones Theatre. This theatre was named after the legendary star of screen and stage.
According to The New York Times, the James Earl Jones Theatre will become the second Broadway theatre named after a Black artist. Jujamcyn Theaters renamed the August Wilson Theatre (formerly Virginia Theatre) in honor of the playwright. Shubert's renaming follows a pledge by the organization to make diversity improvements with Black Theater United, an advocacy group that was founded last summer in the context of Black Lives Matter.
The Cort was built by John Cort, a West Coast impresario, in 1912. It was designed by Thomas Lamb in the 18th-century French style. Since 1927, it has been operated and owned by the Shuberts. The official rededication ceremony for the Cort is set for this summer. The James Earl Jones Theatre will become the second Great White Way venue to be named after a Black artist. The August Wilson Theatre was previously called the Virginia and was renamed as such in 2005.
"The Shubert Organization is so incredibly honored to put James - an icon in the theatre community, the Black community, and the American community - forever in Broadway's lights," Robert E. Wankel, CEO and board chair at Shubert, said in a statement. "That James deserves to have his name immortalized on Broadway is without question."