The Valiant Theatre and Lounge is slated to open in September within Studio Arabi, the newly established arts campus in St. Bernard Parish. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on October 8 at 5 p.m. Named in honor of a large crown that adorns the former pawn shop at 6621 St. Claude Ave., the Valiant Theatre will feature a full service, upscale bar and lounge in addition to a 120 seat theatre.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Valiant Theatre and Lounge to St. Bernard. The new business will have an immediate economic impact and add to the newly opened Studio Arabi arts campus,” said Andrew Jacques, the executive director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation who helped the new business relocate to St. Bernard. “The Valiant Theatre will create eight new jobs and employ hundreds of artists and musicians. At full capacity, the theatre is expected to attract more than 1000 people weekly who will patronize local businesses.”
The Valiant Theatre is operated by Richard Mayer, who has a long record of success on stage and off bringing brilliant shows to audiences and providing opportunities to local artists. His former venue, Old Marquer Theatre, was the busiest live performance space in New Orleans. Over time, Old Marquer received national and international acclaim and was featured in Southern Living, the BBC’s Lonely Planet, the Hunt Guide, and even the official travel magazine of Singapore.
“We are very excited to be part of St. Bernard’s skyrocketing arts and culture scene,” said Mayer. “Audiences can expect to see the return of their favorite groups from Old Marquer, plus the larger space will allow for bigger, better shows.”
The Valiant will feature a variety of high-quality works, providing a home for artists of all kinds and a variety of audiences. Performances will include classic and contemporary plays, musicals, comedy shows, children’s theatre, burlesque, poetry, independent films, and performance art. The theatre is expected to have shows up to five nights a week, with two shows on Friday and Saturday nights. The lounge will be open seven days a week, beginning at 4 p.m.
Mayer is partnering with Paul Chiriaco, owner of Mag’s bar on Elysian Fields, to operate the lounge, which will feature a rotating lineup of specialty cocktails, including show-specific drink specials. Live piano and acoustic music will be played most weekday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monthly wine and liquor tastings are also scheduled, starting later in the fall.
Studio Arabi’s Erica Larkin Gaudet, a metal sculptor, is designing the interior and furnishing of the lounge.
For more information on The Valiant Theatre, the schedule, and hours of operation, please visit: ValiantTheatre.com
Studio Arabi is a creative placemaking project of the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation and Erica and Mitchell Gaudet. The Meraux Foundation has assembled the properties as a public interest project to accelerate the growth of the Old Arabi Cultural District. These properties are being leased to the Gaudet’s, who are operating the two block arts campus on St. Claude Avenue.
“We are thrilled with the success of Studio Arabi, and the Valiant Theatre is a fantastic new addition to the arts district,” said Gaudet. “The theatre, along with more than a dozen artist galleries on the campus, will cement St. Bernard Parish as an arts destination.”
“We are excited to welcome yet another arts business to St. Bernard Parish. The Valiant Theatre and Lounge will add to the allure of Studio Arabi and compliment the artist studios and galleries already operating there,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation and board member of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation.