The New James Earl Jones Theatre Gets Official Broadway Opening Date

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James Earl Jones attends the “The Gin Game” Broadway opening night after party at Sardi’s on October 14, 2015 in New York City.
James Earl Jones attends the “The Gin Game” Broadway opening night after party at Sardi’s on October 14, 2015 in New York City.

The 110-year-old Cort Theatre will officially be renamed to the James Earl Jones Theatre, the Shubert Organization announced on Thursday.

Per a press release sent to The Root, the formal dedication and unveiling is set for Sep. 12 and comes as a part of an overall agreement between Black Theater United (founded by Audra McDonald and Billy Porter) and a handful of other landlords that have agreed that “at least one of their theaters named after a Black artist, among other actions that seek to reassert their collective commitment to diversity and anti-racism.”

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The special ceremony will also feature special performances, tours of the renovated theatre, and an unveiling of the new marquee.

“The dedication of the James Earl Jones Theatre honors one of the most beloved Broadway and film actors of all time,” Shubert Chairman and CEO, Robert E. Wankel said in a statement. “It’s fitting that the renaming of this beautifully restored building also be a moment in which to recognize the tremendous contribution of BIPOC people to Broadway. Mr. Jones’s name quickly rose to the top of the Shubert Organization’s list due to his illustrious career performing in Shubert houses, his status in the Black community, and his worldwide reputation as one of the most celebrated performers to ever grace the Broadway stage.”

Jones’ Broadway career began back in 1957. Over the years, his stellar acting prowess in theatre, TV, and film was recognized for numerous awards, including: seven Drama Desk Awards, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor. He’s also one of the handful of renowned actors to reach the coveted EGOT status.

Congratulations, Mr. Jones! It’s beyond well-deserved.