Joy Theater

1200 Canal Street,
New Orleans, LA 70112

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Joy Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Joy's Theaters Inc.

Architects: H. Mortimer Favrot, Alan C. Reed

Firms: Favrot & Reed

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 504.528.9569

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News About This Theater

Joy Theater, New Orleans, LA

The Joy Theater opened on February 7, 1947 with 1,200 seats in orchestra and balcony levels. It is a block from the Loew’s State Theatre and had a handsome Moderne corner marquee with several miles of neon.

When I visited there in 1988, the balcony had been twinned and the orchestra used the main screen. No ornament was visible as the entire auditorium was drapped and a suspended acoustic tile ceiling inserted. The marquee was stupendous!

Closed after Hurricane Katrina, it was renovated and reopened as a live performance/concert venue on December 29, 2011, now reverted back to a single space, with seating for 900.

Contributed by William Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 88 comments)

Bway on December 28, 2011 at 6:54 am

WOnderful! I never thought I would see THAT again!

waynebeau23 on January 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

The Joy reopened with live music performances on Dec. 29, 2011. From the outside it looks great. I understand they can still show film.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

This Theatre looks outstanding!! Such a turn-around from when I took this photo back in March of 2010…

Randy A Carlisle — Historical Photographer

CSWalczak on February 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

A USA Today article about the theater: View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

Astonishing. After sitting for quite a while and then getting hit by Katrina I thought this place was a goner. Good things do happen.

Alan Bell
Alan Bell on September 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

According to The September 2012 issue of Signs of the Times, “the Joy Theatre sign in New Orleans, originally built by Pelican Signs in 1947, was recently restored by the Big Eay’s Brightway Signs.”

Johnny23 on September 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

that marquee lit up at night is truly a sight to behold… just gorgeous. unfortunately, the joy is no longer a movie theater, so my interest ends at the beauty of the marquee. in it’s last few years as a movie theater, the joy was a mess… terrible conditions, loud, obnoxious and possibly dangerous patrons, etc. but i have a lot of fondness for that sort of grindhouse atmosphere, so i sort of miss those days.

Willisolas on October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm

My grand dad was a first cousin to Joy. My dad worked for Joy for many years. His nephew had dinner with us a few weeks ago. The house Joy grew up in is still in good shape.

RandyHouck on March 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Joy Houck was my uncle, the older brother of my dad. I now own the house that Joy grew up in, in Magnolia, Arkansas. I was actually closer to Joy than I was to my own father. He was an astonishing man.

fredw on September 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

I was raised by one of Joy’s younger brothers Freddie. I spent a lot of my younger years in the Joy Theater and Joy Drive-In in Shreveport. I also lived in the apartment above the Joy in New Orleans during my second grade. I spent a lot of time on their farm in Arkansas. The foundation I received from being around the theaters and farm were an incredible basses for the rest of my life and I owe much of my success in life to Freddie and Joy.

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