Union County Performing Arts Center

1601 Irving Street,
Rahway, NJ 7065

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markp on May 31, 2015 at 5:05 am

Was there as the projectionist last night to run 1927’s Wings on the updated projection equipment. Nice to be back there after 15 years.

markp on September 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

They need a projectionist?? Im available

HarryGribbon on September 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

This October 25th at 8PM will feature the original Lon Chaney “Phantom of the Opera” by film on our big screen. Admission is $7.00. Come in costume and be entered in our prize drawing. At the “Biggest Little Wurlitzer” is Bernie Andersen, using the organ for its first feature performance since the $270,000 restoration. It’s a night not to be missed. From NYC, the theater is 4 minutes walk from the NJ Transit Train Station in Rahway. For more info on the theater or organ, see UCPAC.ORG or http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/09/1928_wurlitzer_that_saved_union_county_arts_ to see the organ in action!

HarryGribbon on September 28, 2014 at 9:29 am

Classic films are never shown in the “video” format. Some current short film festivals are, since they were shot and distributed on video. The theater is outfited with “reel” movie projectors. There will be another tour this October 18 & 19 showing the Classic Silent Picture/Vaudeville theater in its 86th year. for information see ucpac.org

teecee on September 28, 2014 at 6:03 am


markp on September 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Worked here a few times in its final days as a porn house and again in 1999 as a projectionist.

HarryGribbon on December 17, 2010 at 7:07 am

The Union County will be having a film show January 6th 2011, the first Thursday of the month, at 7:00 PM. Classic films and cartoons of the thirties will be shown from film on our big screen. See http://ucpac.org/images/Image/FilmShortsFlyer.pdf for title information. ADMISSION IS FREE. Come in early and enjoy a walk around our fully restored 1928 vaudeville theater. Cameras welcome before show starts.

mdvoskin on September 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I hope it’s movies projected from 35mm film? The consumer quality video that the UCAC was showing since the renovation looks terrible.

HarryGribbon on September 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Movies will be a part of the upcoming year’s schedules. Program for next film selection will be posted shortly. Watch the website WWW.UCPAC.com or watch this space. Future films from Classics to Independants will be posted in the schedule. Feel free to email suggestions to and they will be reviewed and forwarded. The Art Center always desires to hear patrons requests.
Or come visit and speak to us yourself during 4 Centuries weekend, Oct 16 and 17, 2010.

GDellaFa on September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

No more movies?…

HarryGribbon on September 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm

On October 16 and 17 2010 (Satruday-Sunday) there will be tours of the theater as part of Union County’s 4 Centuries weekend. See the website www.ucpac.org for further details. Get to see behind the scenes, and to experience the history of this beautifully restored classic Vaudeville/Silent Film landmark.

gabedellafave on September 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Seems like The Rahway used to have a far more active film schedule just a couple of years ago — and it was 35mm film. They also had the Wurlitzer which was a wonderful addition to the program. I miss this theatre’s film series. This theatre is a real gem. It is perhaps the perfect neighborhood house from the late 1920s. It didn’t need a whole lot of work, and they let most of the old things remain. It feels real and not overly restored. Please bring back the 35mm film series!

mdvoskin on September 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Does anyone know whether any of the upcoming film events will be presented from 35mm film, or are they just DVD presentations?

teecee on May 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Theater reopened in February and now features air conditioning for year round programming.

“The theater’s history goes back to 1927, when a wealthy Rahway businessman named Barney Engel man bought a parcel of land off Irving Street and built the old Rah way Theater for vaudeville acts and to showcase the fledgling movie in dustry.

The theater held its opening night on Oct. 16, 1928, with silent films and live organ music.“ extracted from View link

spectrum on September 21, 2007 at 11:20 am

Currently the Center is undergoing a major renovation and expansion of its stage house. It will reopen once renovations are completed in 2008. Check their website (link above) for more details.– new addition on the back

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 3:01 am

Listed as open in the 1944 FDY. Listed in the 1961 FDY as part of Triangle-Liggett Theatre Service & in the 1970 FDY as part of Triangle Theatre Service Inc.

teecee on August 13, 2005 at 5:28 am

Marquee photo that I took in April:
View link

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 4:09 pm

It was also called ‘The Old Rahway’ in the ‘70s.
Saw 'Therese And Isabelle’‘Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls’ here and others.

teecee on April 7, 2005 at 1:17 pm

Just saw My Fair Lady on 4/2/05 which was preceded by a Laurel & Hardy short and organ concert. Beautiful place. You can buy a book outlining the restoration in the lobby.

Interesting tidbit: Scenes from The School of Rock (2003)were filmed at the theater.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 1, 2005 at 4:34 am

I saw THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI here last weekend, and they put on quite a show: newsreel, cartoon, audience singalong, etc. And the theater itself was beautiful. I’ll be going back again for sure.

BobFurmanek on September 1, 2004 at 9:54 am

They are having an excellent classic film season, beginning on September 18 with A HARD DAY’S NIGHT. If you like classic films in great theaters, don’t miss this unique series.

All the details can be found at http://www.ucac.org/MoviePalace/Pages/ThFilms.html

Roxymusicco on April 9, 2004 at 11:34 am

The Union County Arts Center most of it’s life was called the Rahway Theatre. It was an independant theatre chain until RKO leased the business in 1931. RKO went bust in 1935 and it became an independant once again. From 1928 to 1979, The Rahway played mostly first run and double feature programs. It started out as a silent movie/vaudeville theatre with such acts like the Seven Little Foys on stage. Vaudville stopped once the theatre went to sound, but after RKO took control they revived the 5 act vaudville policy. 1935, the Rahway went all film. The thing that saved the theatre was it’s original Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ. In the 1960’s the organ was restored by members of ATOE (now known as ATOS). The theatre management was so impressed that they allowed the organ to be played for Sunday Matinees. In 1979, when the end was near, it was these same people (now a chapter of ATOS; the Garden State Theatre Organ Society) that gathered together started a non profit called “Rahway Landmarks” and bought the theatre in 1984 and has since restored the theatre in 1990. The theatre is now a fully functional arts center which presents everything from live events to silent films (which started it all). For more info check our website http://www.ucac.org/
Also check out http://www.gstos.org/ for organ info.

BarryDavison on December 17, 2001 at 2:54 pm

I came to this site to get show and ticket information for upcoming productions but can’t seem to find it in your web site. Can you help. Right now I am interested in the upcoming Wayne Brady show. Thanks

Sphinx on January 2, 2001 at 11:05 am


Please send me a listing of your upcoming events to:

Odded Benjamin
Village of Stoney Run
Maple Shade, NJ 08052