MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CelebrityAccess) The 2,500-capacity Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J., is once again going through changes and its new GM, Anthony Morrison, was happy to tell CelebrityAccess the details.
Most importantly, there will no disruptions to programming, Morrison stressed, with much of the improvements occurring near the theatre, not inside it.
“The big picture, the big story here is the redevelopment next to the Wellmont,” he said. “There is going to be a residential component to it, there is going to be some retail and commercial space attached to the property. We’re creating an outdoor plaza that will have year-round programming and our intention is to create a mini campus. We want people to come down earlier, enjoy the great restaurants that are part of this complex; we want them to stay longer. We really want to enhance the experience for when we have shows and normal usage.”
The venue opened in 1922 as a Vaudeville theater and spent much of the last century as a movie theater. It completed a $3 million renovation in 2008 when it was booked by Bowery Presents. Booking changed to the New York office of Live Nation in 2013, when another refurbishment occurred.
“We’re absolutely staying open through construction,” Morrison said. The GM has been with the building for about two months after spending 12 years in operations with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and working with CID Entertainment. “All modifications inside cosmetically are done when we don’t have shows booked.”
He added, “When it comes down to it, when an offer goes in, I want to make sure our building is head and shoulders above the next building. I want them to know that the Wellmont is the place to be and we’re doing those things that the artists, managers and agents and the fans appreciate. We’re looking at replacing the balcony seats and adding some VIP areas.”
Upcoming shows include Wyclef Jean Feb. 9, Buckcherry Marc. 10, and Robin Trower March 24.