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The mission of the South Street Theater Company, DBA Community Theatre, is to acquire, renovate and operate the Community Theatre of Morristown as a performing arts center, with programming designed to serve the diverse populations of Morris County and northern New Jersey. The artistic philosophy of the Community Theatre as a presenting organization is to offer programs that appeal to a wide audience, satisfying to the best of our facility's ability the demand for classical, adult contemporary, jazz, folk, country, opera, dance, and, to a lesser extent, rock. We believe in presenting worlk-class performers in a professional theatre environment at affordable ticket prices.
The Community Theatre, built in 1936 by the Walter Reade Company, was originally designed as a movie house. It was, for many years, the premier cinema for miles around, showing only top-rated, first run films that were otherwise available only in New York City. Over the years the theatre was home to many regional entertainment events, not unusual for Morristown, a town rich in theatrical tradition. With the advent of multiscreen movie houses in the 70's, the Community Theatre could no longer compete, and it went dark. Periodic attempts were made to reopen the theater, but the harsh reality of economics caused them all to fail. The current reincarnation of the Community Theatre began in September 1994. During the prior summer, more than 300 volunteers scraped, cleaned, painted and polished to allow the building to reopen, and the work goes on with professional as well as volunteer support. Currently, the theater programming includes over 75 theater-sponsored events such as Bela Fleck, Vienna Choir Boys, Maureen McGovern, Robert Wagner & Jill St. John, Nell Carter and Pilobilus, in addition to rental organizations including the NJ Symphony, New Jersey Ballet, Masterwork Chorus & Orchestra and Metropolitan Entertainment. Over 90,000 visitors attended performances at the Community Theatre over the past season. The theatre is wheelchair accessible and offers assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired. Several performances each season are sign interpreted.
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