Union County Performing Arts Center

1601 Irving Street,
Rahway, NJ 7065

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Union County Performing Arts Center

The Rahway Theatre opened on October 16, 1928 with a seating capacity of 1,449. The opening movie was Ricardo Cortez in “The Grain of Dust”. Organist Chet Kingsbury opened the Wurlitzer organ.

This former movie and vaudeville house in Rahway, New Jersey has been reborn as a performing arts and concert venue that still shows classic films from time to time. The main original auditorium now seats 1,340.

The Performing Arts Center also has other spaces used as live theatre and performing arts spaces. There is also the Loft studio space which seats 60. The Union County Performing Arts Center also includes a separate building housing the Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts which has a main stage seating 199 and another studio space seating 60.

Recent comments (view all 48 comments)

HowardBHaas on November 11, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Website identifies the 3 films for Jan, Feb, March, on Friday eves at 8 PM, each in 35mm, for only $5 each with 30 minutes of organ playing before, and free popcorn. Jan 25, The Breakfast Club, Feb 15, Pretty Woman, March 8, The Karate Kid. Of course, check website for any changes.

markp on November 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

35MM print of E T was inspected today. Almost brand new. Universal Vault Print.

markp on January 25, 2019 at 8:16 am

Don’t forget tonight at 8 pm, The Breakfast Club in 35MM with organ before. Print is almost brand new. All seats 5 dollars

markp on February 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Print of Pretty Woman looked really great tonite. Nice crowd. not one of our bigger crowds. I was interviewed by a young woman doing a paper for her studies. She wanted to interview people in jobs that are going away. I took her on a nice journey thru my 43 years. She was pleased and fascinated about how film ran and what went into it. And had another visitor, Mr HowardBHass. Always nice to see him.

HowardBHaas on February 15, 2019 at 10:43 pm

The Pretty Woman print was gorgeous! and reminded me of how beautiful 35mm really is. Here’s a link to next few months' 35mm classics which are The Karate Kid, a double feature of A League of Their Own + The Natural, also Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. These are only $5 each! and some or all of these films include the Wurlitzer pipe organ being played for awhile, and free popcorn. Check the website and/or Facebook for correct details as I don’t work for the theater; I am merely a big fan of seeing classic films and especially in a historic movie palace such as this one. And,this one has a world class projectionist (Mark P).http://www.ucpac.org/films

markp on February 16, 2019 at 3:48 am

HowardBHass, you have all the details correct. Organ will be before all movies. Showtime is usually 8pm, except the double feature which will be 2pm. And thank you for the compliment. World class, I don’t know about that. I just love what I do. I try my best with what Im given to work with.

Harrygribbon2 on February 16, 2019 at 6:50 am

I’ve been there and have seen Mark P. at work. World Class is a good description. Yesterday was a 2 hour movie, reel change went smooth as silk, projection image was perfect. You can’t have a quality restored theater without a quality oriented projectionist who cares. Check the theater out on March 8 when “The Karate Kid” will be shown with a “Selected Short Subject,” a free bag of pop corn, and only $5 a ticket! 35mm makes all the difference in a theatrical experience, as does seeing a film with an audience in a restored 1928 movie palace.

Harrygribbon2 on February 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm

If someone knows how to correct the front information, it would be appreciated. The cinema/theater portion of the Union County Performing Arts Center (the original Rahway Theater) only has 1340 seats and one screen. The other seats are counting the seats in the Hamilton Theater, built 7 years ago as a live playhouse with 199 seats and no movie screen. “The Loft” was constructed in a 2004 addition and “The Fazoli Room” part of the Hamilton Stage, created for live performancs and are not a part of the original theater. Both are without movie screens. The Hamilton Stage is a full block and a half away from the cinema. All four spaces are part of the Union County Performing Arts Center Campus, but not a part of the 1928 theater, which has the only cinema screen. The photo section contains photos of both buildings. The modern seats and wood paneled walls in the photo section are of the Hamilton Stage located at 360 Hamilton Street in Rahway NJ.

markp on April 11, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Both prints for Sundays double feature are in excellent condition. League of Their Own is on 2 large reels, one changeover. Natural is a George Eastman print. Cant be cut. 7 reels, 6 changeovers. Should be a great way to spend a Sunday.

HowardBHaas on April 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Upcoming films in 35mm, for $5 including free popcorn & a short Wurlitzer pipe organ concert, are Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on May 10, National Lampoon’s Vacation on June 28, Forrest Gump on July 19, Stand by M on August 16, and The Goonies on Sept. 14. Link to details: http://www.ucpac.org/films

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