Renovations at the historic State Theatre, Central New Jersey’s largest non-profit arts presenter, are almost complete, marking the start of an exciting new phase for the Middlesex County art community.
The theater on Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick is on track to have its extensive renovation, including several capital upgrades to make it compliant with Adults with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, finished at the end of the summer to usher in its big reopening in September.
“The State Theatre is excited to be able to reopen its doors with a beautiful, new look and, once again, offer entertaining live programming,” said Kelly Blithe, Director of Communications & Community Engagement. “Providing increased accessibility was the main focus of this renovation so we can provide a safe environment to enjoy world-class performing arts to a wider audience ahead of our 100th anniversary.”
To become ADA accessible, the State Theatre will add an elevator, accessible seating throughout the venue and new restroom facilities. Renovations will also include upgrading the seats, stage rigging system, dressing rooms and lobby spaces. Touchless technology, protective barriers and a new HVAC system will also be installed.
An exciting part of the renovation is the installation of an illuminated 31-foot tall, 7-foot-wide blade sign above the marquee that pays homage to the building’s original design.
This facelift is possible due to strong partnerships between State Theatre New Jersey, Middlesex County and many corporate, foundation and individual donors through the theater’s Next Stage Campaign.
Throughout the pandemic and renovations, the State Theatre has been offering a wide variety of virtual shows and events, something that will most likely continue after doors reopen at the end of the summer.
“The arts, in general, are certainly looking at a hybrid model of live and virtual events for the long term,” Blithe said. “Thanks to online programming, we have been able to reach people from around the world, which also helps increase accessibility.”
The State Theatre is excited to once again be a part of the New Brunswick Heart Festival on Saturday, August 14. The event will feature a variety of live and virtual music, dance, and spoken word performances; interviews with local artists; a behind-the-scenes look at the local theater scene; a historical close-up of Middlesex County; craft making activities and more.
To learn more about the State Theatre and track its reopening, visit www.stnj.org.