Forum Theatre Arts Center

314 Main Street,
Metuchen, NJ 08840

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Forum Theatre Arts Center

The Forum Theatre opened as a combined movie and vaudeville theatre in 1928. This small town movie house was revitalized as a performing arts center in the early-1990’s, but it was closed in August 2007.

After a restoration and renovation project, the Forum Theatre Arts Center reopened in the fall of 2009 as a movie theatre showing Foreign, Classics and Independent films, all projected on 35mm prints. A capital campaign was set up to make the reopened theatre one of the premiere theatres in the state of New Jersey. It also presented children’s films, concerts and live theatre programming.

The initial plan will be to open a cafe in the balcony seating area with tables and chairs, so patrons can relax with a bottle of wine while enjoying a movie. The theatre is also available for screenings. In March 2015 the theatre was ‘For Lease’. It had reopened by December 2016 presenting live shows.

Contributed by Erwin Markisch, Peter Loewy

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

markp on January 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

My my a we bit touchy are we. I said recently, as in about a month ago. I don’t go into town much, and haven’t been in the theatre since I stopped working there in 1983. Good luck with your shows and movies. Im no longer a projectionist since digital put me out of work. Im a stagehand now working at the Newark arena and really don’t miss movies or theatres that much anymore. Oh and I just turned 55 and still have 20/20 vision and I don’t need glasses. Just sayin.

Peter Loewy
Peter Loewy on January 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

My apologies! Great to hear about your eyesight

markp on January 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Thank you Peter. And Im glad to see you still running movies. I do miss it a little. You don’t do a job for almost 38 years and not miss it. Are you going to convert to digital? It is my understanding that some companies already have stopped releasing movies on film. I miss the days of changeovers. Although I have been told to accept progress, I don’t see why theatres (especially independents) had to switch over. There was nothing wrong with film, other than the fact that most theatres used teenagers instead of professionals like me. But that’s all in the past. I hope you can keep film going.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on April 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

It appears this theatre is no longer open in the traditional sense. They have no movies or live shows scheduled. The website states it is available for long or short term rentals.

markp on April 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

So sad to hear. I was a projectionist here from 1980 till 1983.

DavidSimpson on October 5, 2015 at 12:38 am

When I visited the area, in September 2015, owner Peter Loewy happened to drive by as a friend and I were taking photos of the exterior. He stopped, we had a chat and he invited us back a few days later, when we were able to have a good look round. This is a very well maintained neighbourhood cinema, and it’s a pity it can’t run full-time on films. During our visit Peter and his colleagues were starting to set up a ‘Haunted Theatre’ attraction for Halloween, but I have since heard that these have been cancelled. This is such a shame. I wish Peter all the very best as he tries to find a niche for his splendid cinema.

mondogroove2373muse on February 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Dear Peter….Perhaps, you are kind enough to remember a few short conversations that we engaged in a few years ago? In any case, driving by The Forum Theater earlier today I was unnerved to see the billboard on the side of the building. Following this up, I had the opportunity to have a brief and nice dialogue with long-time merchant who owns a boutique right down the store. Okay, to the point. I will try to contact you directly and get your status on the subject of bringing back to life a true art and cultural landmark of not only Metuchen….New Jersey. Hope all is well with your family. Andy L. Jr.

markp on February 11, 2016 at 7:42 am

One option could be to put a dividing wall across the front of the balcony. Make it a twin cinema and then he can again show movies. With 2 screens even if one movie is doing poorly the other one might be ok. And you would have a larger cinema downstairs and a smaller one upstairs. I floated this idea around back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when both my father and I were the projectionists here. The owners at that time were getting ready to retire and did not want to put that kind of money into the place.

gigi00631 on February 13, 2016 at 1:28 am

My Aunt Bee owned that theatre and my grandmother ran it. I remember many, many evenings spent there helping out wherever I could. I remember the popcorn machine and the candy machines. Such a shame it’s vacant. I really do hope someone buys it and brings it back to it’s former glory and appreciate it for what it worth.

markp on February 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm

If you were there in the late 70’s thru the time they sold it in 1983 then you remember I was the projectionist there. And your family also owned the State in Woodbridge where my father was the projectionist, along with me at the Forum.

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