Union County Performing Arts Center

1601 Irving Street,
Rahway, NJ 7065

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

markp
markp on July 17, 2018 at 6:42 am

Upcoming 35MM films. Sept 15, Dirty Dancing. Oct 16, Phantom of the Opera. Nov 24, ET.

walterk
walterk on June 25, 2018 at 10:44 am

As mentioned in the overview, the Rahway Theatre opened on October 16, 1928. The evening was a benefit with proceeds going the Rahway Hospital (now known as the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital). The hospital board made it clear this was arranged by local businessman Bernard Engelman, president of the Olt-Engel Corporation, which was formed by him and his brother-in-law (and former Rahway resident) Major David M Oltarsh to build and maintain the structure. As architect (and an engineer), Oltarsh oversaw the construction, which was carried out by various contractors.

House Organist Chet Kingsbury opened the evening’s program with a recital on the 2 manual 7 rank Style EX Wurlitzer, opus 1923. Neither Kingsbury nor opus 1923 were mentioned in the program or media accounts.

I am uploading a full-page ad of the opening night program from the neighboring Carteret Press, and a second ad from the Woodbridge Leader. It should be noted that the opening night movie was “A Grain Of Dust”, the double bill mentioned in the overview (and on the web pages of UCPAC and GSTOS) was the third program, which ran later in the week.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 18, 2018 at 10:58 am

I’m glad the show went so well. I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai here several years ago, in 35mm CinemaScope. The movie and the theater were both very impressive.

markp
markp on June 18, 2018 at 10:41 am

It was nice to meet you yesterday Howard. I’m glad you and everyone enjoyed the show. I keep giving them ideas for movies but as always I get the feeling it falls on deaf ears. But I will keep trying.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on June 18, 2018 at 8:45 am

I went yesterday from Philadelphia & enjoyed pristine 35mm print of “The Godfather” from 2008 restoration (the box delivered had the date) projected with excellence by Mark P. The sound was nicely loud. I estimate about 150+ people attended. They enthusiastically applauded at the end & those who lingered thru the film credits applauded again! Ticket prices were super affordable at $3 each. Concession prices were reasonable & popcorn in boxes was sold. About 2 hours after the start, before the wedding scene in Italy, a short Intermissionoccurred so audience members had a restroom break & opportunity to get food or drink (including alcohol). I am very happy this historic theater honors its movie palace roots by showing a classic movie and in the format, 35mm, that was originally shown. Hurrah!

markp
markp on June 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Just got back from inspecting the print. Almost new. Very good condition. Mounted so there will be 4 changeover thruout the movie.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on June 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm

“The Godfather” (1972) screens 3 PM Sunday June 17 in the main auditorium in 35mm!

HarryGribbon
HarryGribbon on October 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

For those interested, Nosferatu (the classic German version of Dracula from 1922) will be shown ON FILM at the Union County Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 14th at 8:00 pm. Bernie Anderson will be at the Mighty Wurlitzer doing live accompaniment to this tale of horror. The film will be proceeded by a classic comedy silent short. Worth the trip out, just a 20 minute trip on train from Penn Central, or a short drive from Parkway exit 136.

markp
markp on October 6, 2015 at 4:12 am

Yes Dave, I met Irv last year. He interviewed me for his new book. Yes Ive had a nice run at many different theatres. I miss it a lot. Digital is just not projection in my humble opinion. The only 2 theatres I have a chance to run film at is here in Rahway and the Count Basie in Red Bank, and they do mostly digital. Im glad you enjoy my posts about the past. I enjoy sharing them.

DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on October 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Hi Mark. It was certainly digital. From what I recall being said I think it was DVD, but I could be mistaken. I hope you get the show in November. I would love to be there, but I’m now back in England! I was staying for a week with Irv Hyatt, who is on the board of governors at the Rahway. He took me round many current and former cinemas in the area. When I came to post my photos, I saw how many of these you have worked at and enjoyed reading your contributions.

markp
markp on October 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Dave, Im guessing Grease was a blu ray? And Im hoping to be the projectionist in Nov. Just waiting for the call.

DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on October 4, 2015 at 2:13 pm

In September 2012 Union County Performing Arts Center opened its additional venue, the Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, at 360 Hamilton Street (just a short distance from the Rahway). This comprises a 199-seat main theatre and a 60-seat Fazioli Room studio/rehearsal space. In September 2015, when I visited, the Mainstage (the former Rahway cinema auditorium) seated 1,334, while The Loft, a studio/rehearsal space upstairs in the former Rahway, seats 60. So the total seating capacity, across these four spaces, was 1,653.

The Mainstage is used for occasional film events and classic film shows. During my visit I saw “Sing-a-long Grease” in the company of dozens of ‘Pink Ladies’! In a more serious vein (no pun intended!) the classic silent horror film “Nosferatu” was due to be screened, with live organ accompaniment, on 14th November 2015.

markp
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
markp on September 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

They need a projectionist?? Im available

HarryGribbon
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
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
teecee on September 28, 2014 at 6:03 am

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/09/1928_wurlitzer_that_saved_union_county_arts_center_has_a_voice_once_again.html

markp
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
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
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
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
GDellaFa on September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

No more movies?…

HarryGribbon
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
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
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?