New York’s 110-year-old Cort Theatre will undergo a name change in honor of actor James Earl Jones and his lifelong contributions to Broadway and the artistic community.
In the announcement on Wednesday, the Shubert Organization, which owns and operates 17 Broadway and six off-Broadway theaters, said the decision to change the theater’s name to the James Earl Jones Theatre “is without question.”
“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” said Robert E. Wankel, Shubert CEO and board chair.
The famous theater is home to many notable productions, including the 1958 play Sunrise at Campobello, in which Jones made his Broadway debut.
“For me, standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today,” Jones said in response to the honor. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.
The 91-year-old began his career in 1957 and over the ensuing decades went on to star in over 21 Broadway shows, winning three Tony awards in the process. He’s one of the small group of people to have reached EGOT status, winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.
The Shubert Organization plans to hold a formal dedication ceremony this summer, after the completion of current building renovations.
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