2016PG-13133minFamily, Adventure, Fantasy 7.80/ 10 (IMDB)
Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler
1975R100minComedy, Horror, Music, Science Fiction 7.40/ 10 (IMDB)
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien
PURCHASE TICKETS
SHOWTIMES TODAY

Ella Brennan: Commanding the Palace

  • 2016
  • 96 min
  • English

Today, the world knows restaurateur Ella Brennan as the matriarch of a Creole-flavored dining dynasty dating back over half a century...


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 133 min
  • English

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • 2002
  • TV-PG
  • 161 min
  • English

Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Jan 20
Sat, Jan 21
Sun, Jan 22
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

  • 2010
  • PG-13
  • 146 min
  • English

As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Feb 24
Sat, Feb 25
Sun, Feb 26
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

  • 2011
  • PG-13
  • 130 min
  • English

Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Mar 03
Sat, Mar 04
Sun, Mar 05
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

  • 2005
  • PG-13
  • 157 min
  • English

Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Feb 03
Sat, Feb 04
Sun, Feb 05
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • 2009
  • PG
  • 153 min
  • English

As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Feb 17
Sat, Feb 18
Sun, Feb 19
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • 2007
  • PG-13
  • 138 min
  • English

With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

  • 2001
  • TV-PG
  • 152 min
  • English

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Fri, Jan 13
Sat, Jan 14
Sun, Jan 15
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  • 2004
  • PG
  • 141 min
  • English

It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.


It's a Wonderful Life

  • 1946
  • Approved
  • 130 min
  • English

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 134 min
  • English

The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.


Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  • 1964
  • TV-G
  • 52 min
  • English

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.


SHOWTIMES (3) Coming Soon
Mon, Dec 19
Tue, Dec 20
Sat, Dec 24
Purchase Tickets Play Trailer Showtimes Tickets and General Info Request Info

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

  • 1975
  • R
  • 100 min
  • English

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.


Ella Brennan: Commanding the Palace
2016
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
2016
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2002
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
2011
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2005
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
2009
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2007
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
2001
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2004
It's a Wonderful Life
1946
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2016
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
1964
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
1975
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Palaceclose
  • 2016
  • 96 min
  • English
Today, the world knows restaurateur Ella Brennan as the matriarch of a Creole-flavored dining dynasty dating back over half a century...
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themclose
  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 133 min
  • English
The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretsclose
  • 2002
  • TV-PG
  • 161 min
  • English
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1close
  • 2010
  • PG-13
  • 146 min
  • English
As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2close
  • 2011
  • PG-13
  • 130 min
  • English
Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fireclose
  • 2005
  • PG-13
  • 157 min
  • English
Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeclose
  • 2009
  • PG
  • 153 min
  • English
As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixclose
  • 2007
  • PG-13
  • 138 min
  • English
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stoneclose
  • 2001
  • TV-PG
  • 152 min
  • English
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanclose
  • 2004
  • PG
  • 141 min
  • English
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
It's a Wonderful Lifeclose
  • 1946
  • Approved
  • 130 min
  • English
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyclose
  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 134 min
  • English
The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeerclose
  • 1964
  • TV-G
  • 52 min
  • English
A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
The Rocky Horror Picture Showclose
  • 1975
  • R
  • 100 min
  • English
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Palaceclose
  • 2016
  • 96 min
  • English
Today, the world knows restaurateur Ella Brennan as the matriarch of a Creole-flavored dining dynasty dating back over half a century...
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themclose
  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 133 min
  • English
The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretsclose
  • 2002
  • TV-PG
  • 161 min
  • English
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1close
  • 2010
  • PG-13
  • 146 min
  • English
As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2close
  • 2011
  • PG-13
  • 130 min
  • English
Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fireclose
  • 2005
  • PG-13
  • 157 min
  • English
Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeclose
  • 2009
  • PG
  • 153 min
  • English
As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixclose
  • 2007
  • PG-13
  • 138 min
  • English
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stoneclose
  • 2001
  • TV-PG
  • 152 min
  • English
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanclose
  • 2004
  • PG
  • 141 min
  • English
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
It's a Wonderful Lifeclose
  • 1946
  • Approved
  • 130 min
  • English
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyclose
  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 134 min
  • English
The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeerclose
  • 1964
  • TV-G
  • 52 min
  • English
A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.
more_vert PURCHASE TICKETS
The Rocky Horror Picture Showclose
  • 1975
  • R
  • 100 min
  • English
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

UPCOMING EVENTS!

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    Prytania Theatre, Well-Hung Speakers presents
    ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

    WELL-HUNG SPEAKERS Shadow Cast with Movie
    BYOB
    Friday, Dec 9 & Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 12:15am
    (Friday night & Saturday night)
    Prytania Theatre

    -Well-Hung Speakers shadow cast during Movie
    -Merchandise available for sale
    -Tickets/info: www.theprytania.com
    -all age event

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) at the Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) at the Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    Prytania Theatre presents
    IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
    Holiday Classics Series
    Sunday, December 11 at 10:00am
    Wednesday, Decmever 14 at 10:00am

Ella Brennan Commanding the Table at the Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

Ella Brennan Commanding the Table at the Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    Commander's Palace and the Prytania Theatre
    presents
    Ella Brennan: COMMANDING THE TABLE
    Monday, December 12- 7:30pm
    Tusday, December 13- 2:30pm
    FREE SCREENING!!!

    Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table! - FREE Special Screening at the Prytania Theatre - December 12 at 7:30pm and December 13th at 2:30pm.
    Pick up your FREE tickets from the Prytania Theatre Box Office any day (between 12noon - 9pm).
    Note- Limit of 2 tickets per person picking them up.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story at the Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS Story at the Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    The Prytania Theatre presetns
    STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE
    Pryania Theatre
    Thursday, December 15 - 7:00, 9:45pm, 12:00midnite
    beginning Friday, December 16- daily showtimes;
    10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00, 9:45pm, 12:00midnite

Kid’s Christmas Movie Event at the Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

Kid’s Christmas Movie Event at the Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    Prytania Kid Series presents
    Christmas Movie Event
    FROSTY THE SHOWMAN &
    RUDOUPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER
    December 19, 20 & 24, 2016
    Prytania Theatre

    Enjoy a full Christmas Experience with Arts & Crafts, Special Christmas Treats, Family Fun and SNOW, or course.

    Monday, December 19, 9am thru 12noon
    Tuesday, December 20, 9am thru 12noon
    Saturday, December 24, 9am thru 12noon
    9:00am doors, arts & crafts.
    10:00am Movies begin.

HARRY Potter Series (all Eight Movies) at Prytania Theatre
PURCHASE TICKETS

HARRY Potter Series (all Eight Movies) at Prytania Theatre
  • Detailsmore_vert

    Prytania Theatre presents
    HARRY POTTER SERIES
    All Eight Movies
    Every Friday & Saturday Night at midnight
    Every Sunday at 10:00pm
    begins January 13, 2017 thru March 5, 2017

    Saturday nights at Midnight and Sunday at 10:00pm.
    Jan 13, 14 & 15 – The Sorcerer’s Stone
    Jan 20, 21 & 22 – The Chamber of Secrets
    Jan 29 (Sun Only) – The Prisoner of Azkaban
    Feb 3, 4 & 5 – The Goblet of Fire
    Feb 12 (Sun Only) – The Order on the Phoenix
    Feb 17, 18 & 19 – The Half-Blood Prince
    Feb 24, 25 & 26 - The Deathly Hollows Pt. 1
    March 3, 4 & 5 - The Deathly Hollows Pt. 2

THEATRE RENTALS

The Prytania is one of New Orleans’ premier party and get-together venues! Looking for a place to hold your your private event, host a private screening, or just throw a party? We’re the place for you! In addition to the auditorium, you also get the theatre staffed by our handsome employees so party-goers can get popcorn, snacks, soda, and coffee. You are also welcome to bring in your own food for your event (cake, pizza, catered food, etc.); however, you cannot bring in your own alcohol. If you’d like to watch a film, all you have to do is bring in a DVD or Blu-ray. All of our equipment is at your disposal. If you have something special in mind, feel free to e-mail us your idea and we’d be happy to work something out! A deposit must be made in advance by cash, check, or any major credit card. In order to streamline the process and organize our lives a little more, we require that you fill out the theatre rental form first below and we will contact you regarding your rental.

Request Info
BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Want to be a Movie Star for a day?
Tired of the same boring place to host your children’s Birthday Parties? Host your next “Private Movie Premiere party” at the Historic Prytania Theatre. The Prytania Staff will “Roll out the Red Carpet” and make you feel like a “Star”. When you host your birthday party at the Prytania Theatre we take care of it all. All you have to do is Choose your movie and bring the Kids and the Cake and our wonderful staff will take care of the rest.
PRIVATE EVENTS
Host Your Event at The Prytania!
We can cater to your private screening, corporate event, fundraiser, special party or whatever you can dream up! What can you show? Movies, of course, or anything that you have on bluray, dvd or on your computer, including powerpoints, slide shows or streaming videos from the internet. If you’re showing a film there are different rules and related charges that apply if you’re selling tickets or having a free or private screening. We can walk you through the process.
FILMMAKER SERVICES
4-Wall Screening
Are you looking for a the perfect theatre to screen your film? The Prytania Theatre is the place. We offer flexible 4-wall options for either a single show or a multiple engagement. Please fill out the rental request form for more details or contact info@theprytania.com for pricing and availability.
Post Production/Color Correction Sessions
Want to see how your Color/ FX and sound play in a theatrical setting? We have a Sony 4K Projector with RealD 3D capabilities and a 36ft wide Harkness Silver Screen. We also have a State of the art KLIPSCH sound system, a Dolby 650 Cinema Processor equipped with Dolby 7.1 and Surround EX capabilities. The Prytania Theatre is available Monday-Friday 8am-12pm for test screening rentals.
Dailies Screenings
The Prytania Theatre offers great rates for producers and filmmakers looking to screen dailies or work-in-progress cuts for your private audience during the week Monday-Friday 8am-12pm. We can project HD from DVD, Blu-Ray, from your computer or we can facilitate a deck rental if you require. 35mm dailies screenings available as well please contact info@theprytania.com for more details.
Movie Premiers / Cast & Crew Parties
Book a 2-3 hour block to show your film and invite your cast/crew/friends. Best rates are available during weekday evenings or late night. Concession service available.
Contact: info@theprytania.com
Rewards Programs more_vert

The Prytania Theatre is one of a handful of Neighborhood Single-Screen Movie Theatres left in the United States. Over the past 100 years, there were over 300 single-screen movie theatres in the New Orleans area alone, now there is only one! The Brunet family has been operating movie theatres for over 100 years and saved the Prytania from closing in 1995.

Keeping the 100+ year old Prytania Theatre operating is certainly a worthwhile challenge, but keeping the state-of-the-art digital presentation in optimum condition is very costly. In an effort to improve and maintain the Prytania, we are pleased to announce the Prytania Theatre's Membership Club and Loyalty Program. We decided to start the program to raise needed operating revenue while offering special benefits to show our appreciation to our loyal friends and family.

We are proud to introduce the RED CARPET REWARDS program and the SILVER SCREEN CLUB. Your membership will help the Prytania Theatre continue to operate and help us stay current with cinema technology, while also offering benefits to you as a member.

As a member, if there is something we can do to make your Prytania Family Experience better, please email us at Membership@ThePrytania.com

See ya at the Prytania,

Rene J. Brunet

Benefitsclose

RED CARPET REWARDS
LOYALTY PROGRAM

Red Carpet Rewards weekly email with discounts and special offers
10% discount on all concession purchases
Rewards points on all Prytania Theatre purachases
Red Carpet Rewards Card


SILVER SCREEN CLUB
PRYTANIA THEATRE'S MEMBERSHIP

EXTRAS

All the benefits of the Red Carpet Rewards
Members-Only emails with advance notice of movies, bookings and special events and ability to purchase tickets in advance
Special member discounted ticket price for Prytania Theatre regular features
Members discounted pricing on Prytania partnered festivals/events (Oscar Awards Watch Party, Filmorama, French Film Fest, and screenings)

CAST MEMBER

All the benefits of the Extras Tier
Two(2) free movie passes upon purchase
FREE special screenings for members
FREE small bag of popcorn (1 per movie)
FREE invitation to the annual Prytania Members Gala
FREE Prytania Members ONLY gift bag

DIRECTOR

All the benefits of the Cast Member Tier
FREE Members ONLY shirt
FREE admission to Classic and Late Nite Series Movies
Recognition on the Prytania Membership Web Page

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

All the benefits of the Director Tier
FREE admission for member plus one guest to all Prytania movies and events
FREE concessions for member plus one guest at every visit (up to $50 per visit)
Private screenings at Prytania Theatre (at mutually agreeable date/time Monday thru Thursday)

Prytania Gift Card Price Options

ABOUT US

The Prytania Theater at 5339 Prytania Street was built in 1914, opened in December of that year, and was operated by Jacobs and Landry. On November 25, 1917, M. H. Jacobs announced the completion of a total modernization of the theater including a larger seating capacity, roomier and more comfortable seats, and various modern appliances throughout. Nine years later, on November 22, 1926, at 12:40 A.M., Prytania streetcar motorman C. J. Sekinger saw the theater in flames, turned in the alarm, and roused sleeping neighbors. The theater, valued at $15,000 sustained $10,000 in damages. On January 1, 1927, M. H. Jacobs stated that he had secured a new lease and would “rebuild the structure on a more elaborate scale.” Elaborate improvements included a fancy new lobby with red velvet and polished brass, a new front façade, and a new $15,000 Hilgren-Lane unit orchestral organ. Final details progressed “under the capable direction of Emile Weil, architect.”

On April 16, with Mrs. Mike Kalar at the organ, the theater opened with Upstage starring Norma Shearer. Other fare included the Hal Roach Our Gang comedy Ten Years Old, Pathe News, and a travelogue in natural color. Total cost of the new Prytania was $100,000. Because of its beauty, patrons began calling the Prytania, the “Little Saenger.” However, as with all movie theaters, when talking pictures finally totally replaced silents, organ use and any stage activity ceased, except for special occasions and rentals. Jacobs obtained or built other theaters including the Napoleon and the Poplar, and he also acquired other partners, and eventually merged his company nto United Theaters on June 6, 1930. United then became the new owner of the Prytania.

After almost four decades of continued success, on January 28, 1968, United Theaters president C. prytania-theatre-at-nightClare Woods announced that United had chosen three of its most successful theaters—the Beacon, the Carrollton, and the Prytania— for a complete makeover including new façades, new lobbies, and a new policy of booking first-run films, with a reopening set for April 15. Shortly before the Prytania was set to reopen the theater was gutted by a general alarm fire which was noticed by a next-door neighbor at 6:25 P.M. on April 11, 1968. The fire department estimated the damage at $10,000. The construction was resumed and the theater finally reopened on Christmas Day 1968, with Skidoo, a Paramount picture directed by Otto Preminger. The score was by Harry Nilsson and the cast included Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Peter Lawford, Burgess Meridith, George Raft, Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney, and Groucho Marx as a mob kingpin named “God.”

A little over five years later, on February 24, 1974, Patrick McNamara, director of the Energy Theater and the new lessee, outlined his program of live theater for the Prytania. Three years afterward, on January 17, 1977, Paul S. Richardson, the young operations manager of Movies, Incorporated, announced that he would operate the Prytania starting on January 28, with a policy of double-bill programs, including overlooked new films and popular films that still had appeal.

Almost 20 years later, on October 1, 1996, Landmark Theater Corporation (Movies, Incorporated, had merged with Landmark in 1982) announced that it would be ceasing operation at the end of McNamara’s lease, citing poor profitability. With the expiration of McNamara’s lease of 23 years, the owner of the land, William Ellis, gained control of the building. At the time, McNamara offered $50,000 for the land, but Ellis wanted $130,000, and McNamara declined.

A rush of offers to buy the land, including the theater, resulted in many phone calls to Ellis, with the first coming from retired Navy seal Chris Riley and the third coming from Rene Brunet Jr. On January 11, 1997, Riley announced that he had purchased the land/theater package earlier that week for $130,000. On February 22 Rene Brunet Jr. signed a five-year lease with Riley. The theater reopened April 18 with the 25th anniversary release of The Godfather. Everything went very well until the tragic death of Chris Riley and the hardship situation it caused for his mother. However, this fortunately ended in the purchase of the theater from Mrs. Gracia Riley by businessman John Gish on September 9, 2003, for $375,000.

Rene-brunet-StreetcarAfter completing the technological renovations that started in 2006, including new digital equipment acquired in 2008, Rene and his son Robert Brunet renegotiated their agreement with John Gish in 2010. They currently are operating under a 50-year lease that extends to members of the Brunet family who wish to continue in the theater business.

The Prytania in 2012 is the only single-screen theater in Louisiana and the oldest operating cinema in the New Orleans metro area. The recently renovated theater just added a coffee shop and ice cream parlor, and the lobby features scores of photos of New Orleans’s lost movie houses. It includes the latest state-of-the art equipment, including Sony Digital 4K Projection, Dolby Digital Sound and “Real D 3-D” systems. The Prytania enjoys special relationships with the citizens of New Orleans who recognize it as a treasure. In May 2012, BoxOffice declared it “one of New Orleans cultural landmarks, a key venue for moviegoers and distributors.”

Rene Brunet’s generosity after Hurricane Katrina will never be forgotten as he offered free admission to first responders for several months after the August 2005 storm. The first movie shown was the premiere of the locally made film, Waiting.

In November 2009 Brunet donated the use of his theater for a benefit for his alma mater, Warren Easton High School. The event was a red carpet gala premier of The Blind Side. Hundreds of local notables, including Saints quarterback Drew Brees, were drawn to the prytania-theatre-sandra-bullockinvitation-only affair. Rene said, “Little did we know that in our presence that evening were two stars headed for the record books.” Just months later, Sandra Bullock won an academy award, and Brees and his New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. Rene, who left high school early to run the Imperial Theater after his father fell ill, was recently inducted into the Warren Easton Charter High School Hall of Fame.

Other big events in 2010 included screening of the Harry Shearer film The Big Uneasy and a showing of Cairo Time with star Patricia Clarkson on stage answering questions.

Brunet knows the movie business and knows his customers. And as his weekly gross figures attest, he is a master at programming for them. The “Classic Movie Series” presented three times a week at 10 A.M. draws a very loyal crowd. Rene introduces the pictures and shares coffee and cookies after the films. The Midnight Movies on Friday and Saturday nights attract a totally different audience. On most other nights, the Prytania features first-run films. Crossover, art and foreign films also find a home at the theater. On some mornings, school kids by the busload visit the theater to see G-rated productions. It is also rented for private parties and corporate events.

The New Orleans Saints booked the Prytania to debut their Super Bowl film. At the request of local movie icon, Arthur Barnett, one of the most unusual uses of the theater occurred in 2011 when his memorial service was held there. Another special event was a surprise 90th prytania-theatre-drew-breesbirthday party for Rene!

The Prytania also hosts annual events, such as the New Orleans Film Festival and the French Film Festival. Come Academy Awards time, the Prytania runs nominated films, including obscure ones, and presents an annual Oscar Party. On occasion, Rene offers the theater for private screenings of new movies for reviewers and sometimes the stars themselves. On a late summer afternoon in 2012, Brad Pitt occupied a front row seat.

Rene continues to take tickets at the door and to visit with the crowd in the lobby, answering questions and soliciting opinions. In 2015 the Prytania Theater, the oldest operating theater in New Orleans, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Rene Brunet Jr., at 91-years-old, is already making plans for the centennial celebration. He plans to be there.

Let’s All Go To The Lobby Tshirt (in black & red)

Available at the Theatre
New Orleans Theatre Book
Available at the Theatre and online

Grindhouse Tshirt

Available at the Theatre
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