September 29, 2021

Historic State Theatre NJ Reopens with Special Event

A NEW LOOK: A rendering of how State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick looks thanks to a major renovation project.

State Theatre New Jersey has announced a reopening ribbon-cutting and marquee lighting event for Wednesday, October 6, from 5:30-7 p.m. This free event will take place after a year of major renovations at the theater, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in December.

The first scheduled live performance in the newly renovated theater is the musical Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville on Friday, October 8. The show will run through the weekend.

“We are so thrilled to welcome patrons back to our newly renovated theater, just in time for our 100th anniversary,” said State Theatre New Jersey President and CEO Sarah K. Chaplin. “These renovations have made it possible to ensure accessibility throughout the theater, preserve our rich history, and continue to serve the community as a state-of-the-art cultural venue for many years to come. We look forward to bringing the power of live performance back to our beautiful, historic venue.” 

The ribbon-cutting and marquee lighting will take place outside, in front of the theater. Guest speakers include Chaplin; Middlesex County Board of Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios; New Brunswick Mayor James M. Cahill; and State Theatre Board Chair John S. Fitzgerald. 

Following the marquee lighting, the State Theatre will be open to the public for self-guided tours from 6-7 p.m., with free soft drinks and popcorn. DJ Larry Sargent will be live outside of the theater.   

The renovations include new plush theater seats; updated lobbies with new carpet, paint, and lighting; a renovated studio space; accessible restrooms with touchless technology as well as three added family restrooms; a larger donor lounge; a new state-of-the-art HVAC system; a marquee sign that connects STNJ with its art deco roots; and a motorized stage rigging system, replacing the sandbag system, that increases the line set capacity from 450 lbs. to 1,200 lbs.

One of the most important pieces of this renovation is the increased accessibility of the theater, which includes the installation of an elevator, more accessible seating and companion seating, and additional accessible restrooms on both floors. 

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