Bergen Performing Arts Center is a theater by and for the community it serves in northern New Jersey. It serves as a creative focal point, educational resource, and economic engine. The mission of bergenPAC, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is to produce live performing arts and arts education available to its diverse community by creating a creative home for exceptional and relevant artists and teachers who entertain, enlighten, inspire, and inform their audiences and students. As Northern New Jersey’s foremost cultural and arts educational organization, bergenPAC will guide and free the youth’s imaginations while also expanding the lives of the adults.
On November 22, 1926, the Englewood Plaza movie theater opened its doors. United Artists bought the building in 1967 and maintained it operating until 1973 when it was demolished. The John Harms Center opened on October 10, 1976, thanks to the efforts of a group of local individuals led by John Harms, with a performance by Russian pianist Lazar Berman.
The doors of this ancient institution were reopened thanks to the ingenuity and passion of bergenPAC’s founders, strengthening the spirit and legacy of its original founders. A new public-private partnership was developed to coordinate and harness the resources of community organizations, including the city, county, state, and private patrons and contributors to the performing arts. bergenPAC has created a framework to improve the quality of life for cultural enthusiasts, families, and the general public seeking entertainment and inspiration close to home, thanks to the help of its sponsors.
Through its relationship with the old Bennett Studios, a state-of-the-art recording facility with which the theater was fiber-optically connected, the Bergen Performing Arts Center became a known home for recordings. As a result, this ancient acoustic hall became the home of a one-of-a-kind media creation system. The former studio, located at One Depot Square, now houses bergenPAC’s Performing Arts School, which provides students with “hands-on” arts training from industry professionals, allowing them to gain real-world experience and improve academic achievement through the arts, as well as opportunities to perform on the theater’s main stage and throughout the county. Programs are available in school systems and for people with special needs, from infants to adults.
Bergen Performing Arts Center is currently a leader in providing world-class cultural and educational opportunities to its community, thanks to Frank Huttle’s passion and many others who have worked with him. bergenPAC collaborates with its board, staff, volunteers, and partners to create a world-class home for arts and education that is affordable and accessible to everyone.
Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the box office is open. For further information, call (201) 227-1030.