South Orange-based Cinema Lab, the new operators of The Village Cinemas at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), announced July 7 that the five-screen movie theater will reopen on July 22, with preview pricing for all showtimes for a limited time to welcome movie-goers back to the big screen.
The Cinema Lab team, which includes actor and producer Patrick Wilson, entrepreneur and former Stitcher Chief Executive Officer Erik Diehn and film and television producer and former BAFTA NY Chair Luke Parker Bowles, will offer a slate of the latest studio, independent and blockbuster films from major, small and mid-sized studios, as well as independent and documentary series and conversations with filmmakers.
The cinema is immediately open for private screening rentals.
Since November 2020, the community has been without a movie theater. Cinema Lab and the SOPAC team worked together to bring back major summer blockbusters to South Orange.
“On behalf of South Orange Village, I’m thrilled to welcome Cinema Lab to our community,” said Village President Sheena Collum in a prepared statement. “As residents and neighboring communities return to the movies, The Village at SOPAC is a perfect place to enjoy the entertainment and social experience all of us are seeking.”
Upon renovations envisioned for later this year, The Village at SOPAC will offer five screens with plush seating, an updated lobby lounge space and a technology-first environment, allowing guests to be in control of their tickets, pre-order concessions, and keep up to date on all events, theater programming and membership information.
Tickets for the first shows will be on sale soon and can be purchased online.
“Movie theaters have always been such an essential part of our culture,” said Bowles, “And as we add the finishing touches to The Village at SOPAC, we wanted to provide that connecting, communal experience to our area film lovers. After the unbelievable 15 months that we have all shared, we are so excited to bring movie-going back to the community.”
The Village at SOPAC is the first in a series of iconic New Jersey cinemas to open by Cinema Lab over the next two years. The Bradley in Bradley Beach is targeted to open later this year and The Maplewood in Maplewood will open in 2022.
The company aims to open roughly 15 venues in the next five years across the United States.