Park Theatre

560 32nd Street,
Union City, NJ 07087

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Related Websites

Park Performing Arts Center (Official), GSTOS -- Park Performing Arts Center

Additional Info

Functions: Performing Arts

Nearby Theaters

Park Theatre

Built in 1931. Listed in the 1951 FDY as a operating. Currently a performing arts center known mostly for its annual Passion Play, the oldest in the US.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

teecee on May 13, 2006 at 3:41 am

“Park Performing Arts Center Located at 560 32nd Street, the Center was built in 1931 by the German congregation of a Catholic parish to house their cultural and educational programs. Its most outstanding feature is the Park Theater, which seats 1,400 people. It belongs to Holy Family Church and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and was incorporated in 1983 as a non-profit arts center dedicated to presenting and producing programs for the surrounding communities. It is identified as "the only institution in the County solely dedicated to the performing arts” by the Hudson County Urban Complex Strategic Revitalization Plan. It has featured performers such as Johnny Cash and George Carlin. One of the most noteworthy events to have taken place at Park Theater occurred in 1986 when Aerosmith and Run DMC filmed their groundbreaking video for their single “Walk This Way.” The theater is currently administered by Father Kevin Ashe. An addition was built to the theater in 2000. The theater’s two most well-known events are the annual Multi-Arts Festival and the annual Passion play.“ from

squireforpeace on March 16, 2007 at 6:27 am

My name is Tony Squire and I am the Chairman of the Union City Historical Advisory Committee. We as a Committee are charged with conducting a survey of the entire city in order to find historically significant sites or buildings. Some members have mentioned the Park Theatre as a possible candidate for consideration. So far we have not acted on it.
Any reader (not solely residents of Union City)who could give information about the architect or architectural firm would be helpful. Of course, Union City folks are free offer their comments. Feel free to write about anything you consider historically significant or merits further considertion. I bid peace and goodwill to all.
Tony Squire

Bwayniteowl on September 9, 2007 at 3:19 pm

In the summer of 1985, the Park was the location of shooting of Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson, the performance artist. I worked on the movie and recall that it was very hot that summer and the theatre didn’t have air-conditioning. During the filming the theatre had to be buttoned up so as not to allow light leaks. With the heat from the stage lighting and lack of ventilation, the place was stifling. It was very hard to keep an audience due to the multiple breaks and the heat. Ultimately, when the filmmakers would make reverse and reaction shots, they would herd the audience into the different parts of the auditorium. By the end, the reaction shots would be of a couple of rows of audience members, pa,s and spare crew, a couple dozen at most.

Bwayniteowl on September 9, 2007 at 3:26 pm

The Park also has a Moller organ in place. The three manual twenty rank orchestral Möller pipe organ was installed in two pipe chambers containing 1,390 pipes plus a 25 note chime and a beautiful 61 note Deagan Harp. The organ interacts with the wonderful acoustics of the Park to create a very good sonic experience.

This pipe organ created the perfect accompaniment for the long and still running famous Passion Play which is performed every Lenten season. It is the oldest Passion Play in America, in Union City, NJ since 1915. Unfortunately, over the years the organ required care and was not used.

In April 1991 GSTOS signed a contract to maintain the Möller. A dedicated crew have spent many hours on repairs. Special credit and thanks go to George Fenn, Eric Fahner, George Pasquaye, Jeff Barker, George Toth and our present Crew Chief Martin Boehling. —Source Feb 1998 GSTOS Newsletter

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Google maps has a nice view of the theater, provided you scroll up the street from the original view. Follow the arrows.

William on August 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

They have replaced the former marquee a few weeks ago. It’s very simple and they can no longer put marquee letters on it.

djflem on December 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm

New wikipedia article: December 2010
View link

Goodi on March 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Would anyone have a record of the name of the movie operator in 1930? Could it be Eugene B. Laird

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