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State Theatre New Jersey

State Theater New Jersey in the early 20th century.

Since its inception, State Theatre New Jersey has remained a leading non-profit performing arts venue, the second largest in New Jersey. But it wasn’t always the state-of-the-art auditorium it is today. 

In 1921, a silent film house opened in New Brunswick, NJ, charging fifty cents per ticket. It then became a popular “movie palace,” presenting the latest star-studded pictures to local audiences.

interior shot of State Theater New Jersey

By the 1970s, the beautiful Thomas W. Lamb-designed building had fallen into disrepair. But in 1988, the New Brunswick Cultural Center stepped in and renovated the theatre into a space for live performances, receiving critical acclaim for the theatre’s excellent acoustics and restored Art Deco style.

An exterior image of the state theater before a show.

Since then, State Theatre New Jersey has remained a leading non-profit performing arts venue, the second-largest in NJ. The theatre presents a wide variety of performances: classical and popular music from orchestras, ensembles, and solo musicians; concerts; comedy shows; touring Broadway shows; dance and more.

Thanks in part to funding from Middlesex County, State Theatre New Jersey also offers education programs for kids and adults, including masterclasses and workshops with professionals, lectures on music history, the Milk & Cookies interactive storytelling and music series, sensory-friendly performances, and free events.

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