living legends

Broadway’s Cort Theatre Will Be Renamed in Honor of James Earl Jones

Imagine James Earl Jones saying “theatre” though. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The Cort Theatre will return to Broadway performances with a new name. The Shubert Organization announced today that it will rename the Broadway theater, which is currently going through renovations, after EGOT winner James Earl Jones. The 110-year-old theater was originally designed by architect Thomas Lamb and named after turn of the century theater magnate John Cort before being sold to the Shuberts in 1927. It will be renamed the James Earl Jones Theatre (the Shuberts love an “-re” spelling), and the Shubert Organization will hold a formal dedication ceremony in honor of Jones when it reopens this summer, after shutting down for renovations during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Jones, 91, first performed in the Cort Theatre in Sunrise at Campobello in 1958. He has won two Tony awards for Best Actor in a Play, for The Great White Hope in 1969 and Fences in 1987, as well as a special lifetime-achievement award in 2017. He was last seen on Broadway opposite the late Cicely Tyson in The Gin Game from late 2015 to early 2016. “For me, standing in this very building 64 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 a statement. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration to all aspiring actors.”

Broadway’s Cort Theatre to Be Renamed After James Earl Jones