A Broadway Theatre Will Be Renamed After James Earl Jones
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Broadway’s Cort Theatre Will Be Renamed After Tony Award Winner James Earl Jones

Broadway's Cort Theatre will nbe rena,med after two-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones (Image: Twitter)

The Shubert Organization, the largest theatre owner on Broadway, will rename one of its 17 theatres after two-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones.

According to The New York Times, the organization said Wednesday it would rename the Cort Theatre, a 110-year old theatre located on West 48th Street in Manhattan, after Jones, to celebrate his career and fulfill a pledge it made to include more Black recognition in the industry amid the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement.

Jones, who has appeared in 21 Broadway shows throughout his six-decade career, told the Times that he is honored by the news in a telephone interview.

“It means a lot,” Jones, 91, said. “It’s too heavy for me to try to define.”

Although Jones is widely known for his movies including Star Wars, Coming To America and The Sandlot, he sports a long and illustrious career on Broadway. Jones began his Broadway career in 1957 as an understudy in The Egghead. Jones got his first starring role a year later in Sunrise at Campobello, which ran for over a year at the Cort Theatre. Jones’ last Broadway appearance came in 2015’s The Gin Game.

The Cort, which seats more than 1,000 people, is among Broadway’s oldest theatres and is currently undergoing a $45 million renovation. The theatre will reopen later this year at which time there will be a rededication ceremony. It will be the second Broadway theatre named after a Black artist; the first was named after playwright August Wilson shortly after his death in 2005.

The Shubert Organization pledged last summer to name one of its theatres after a Black artist in an agreement with Black Theatre United. Robert E. Wankel, chairman and chief executive of the Shubert Organization praised Jones for an amazing career on Broadway.

“He’s an icon — he really is one of the greatest American actors, and this is just a perfect match.”

In addition to his two Tony Awards, Jones has also won a Golden Globe, Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards, and numerous NAACP Image Awards.