Somers Point City Council has selected Capri Construction to complete the interior renovations for the Gateway Playhouse. Funding to complete the theater was secured by two New Jersey state-funded grants, including a $400,000 grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and a $102,000 grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust. Renovations are slated to start in early October and will take an estimated seven months to complete.
The Gateway Playhouse renovation is part of the city’s plan to boost the local economy on Bay Avenue and provide a performing arts location in Somers Point. The theater is owned by the city and the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey, a local nonprofit that has been raising funds for the renovation. Most of the exterior work has been completed, but the interior still requires more funding
“The city has been very proactive to make Bay Avenue the hub of activity for not just Somers Point but the region as well,” says Mayor Jack Glasser. “These grants are the result of a lot of hard work by City Council, the Master Plan Steering Committee and the City’s professional staff. That hard work has paid off by providing needed funds to implement our Bay Avenue Master Plan and create an exciting and vibrant bayfront.”
The 5,000-square-foot building will have a 1,000-square-foot stage and enough seating for 240 guests, as well as office space with five rooms, a conference room, high-quality lighting and sound booths on the second floor.
“We are grateful to the city for its support and efforts to reopen the doors to the Playhouse; and so excited to soon become the hub for performance arts here in Somers Point,” says TCSJ Chairman James Dalfons. “Being the new home for the community’s school performances is especially rewarding, taking our student performers and rising stars’ plays and musicals to a whole new level.”
Once the theater opens, TCSJ has planned a full season of musicals and will even host Somers Point school musicals. Additionally, the venue can be rented out for concerts, meetings and presentations.