The Joy Theater is a 1,200-capacity, historic event venue in the heart of downtown New Orleans.

Named after its founder Joy Houck, the former Canal Street landmark movie palace now serves as a staple of New Orleans’ burgeoning music and arts scene. 

Featuring a state-of-the-art audio/visual system, a fixed stage, three permanent bars, and multi-tiered balcony seating, the 10,000 square foot Joy Theater can be customized to fit all functions including live music, stand-up comedy shows, film screenings, corporate events, and private receptions. 

The iconic marquee sits at the intersection of the popular Canal and Rampart Streetcar lines, a short walk from the French Quarter and Superdome, and less than a mile from the Convention Center.  


The Joy Theater was one of the first four movie theaters in downtown New Orleans.

On February 7, 1947, the Joy opened its doors as one of the first “modern” movie houses in New Orleans. Designed by Favrot & Reed architects, the Joy Theater’s iconic neon marquee and original art deco architecture heralded the optimism of Postwar America. For over half a century, the Joy Theater stood proudly as one of Canal Street’s most historic structures until its closure in 2005. 

After enduring the hardships of Hurricane Katrina, the Joy Theater was finally reborn as a multi-purpose event venue in 2011. In 2019, the Joy underwent a significant cosmetic renovation to its lobby, bars, and concert hall. Since its return, the Joy has reclaimed its role as a rich cultural hub for the city of New Orleans, bringing thousands together to enjoy world-class entertainment.

Bringing top-tier talent to the magical city of New Orleans

Artists and acts from all over the world have graced the Joy’s historic stage including 21 Savage, 6LACK, Above & Beyond, A$AP Ferg, Band of Horses, Blood Orange, Broken Social Scene, Cardi B, CHVRCHES, Ciara, Cody Jinks, Daniel Johnston, Explosions in the Sky, Flying Lotus, Future Islands, GRiZ, The Growlers, Hannibal Burress, Iliza Schlesinger, Iron & Wine, Jason Isbell, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Jimmy Eat World, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lettuce, Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Miguel, Milky Chance, Nas, Odesza, Papa Roach, Passion Pit, Phantogram, Portugal. The Man, Pretty Lights, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Run The Jewels, Slightly Stoopid, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, STS9, $uicideboy$, Taking Back Sunday, Tegan and Sara, Thievery Corporation, Tipper, Tyler, the Creator, Underoath and many more. 

In addition to entertainment, the Joy is a trusted partner for corporate events with clients such as HBO, Frito Lay, Heineken, Pandora, Adobe, Miller Coors Brewing, Sprint, History Channel, and Pandora.