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State Theatre New Jersey

Sightlines

An Annual Tradition: Johnson & Johnson Evening

Every year, State Theatre partners with Johnson & Johnson (whose headquarters is located in New Brunswick) to host "Johnson & Johnson Evening." The event, now in its 4th year, is always presented in conjunction with a State Theatre performance and this year's featured performance was Motown The Musical

Held on March 23, the always entertaining event—hosted by Michael Sneed, Worldwide Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Chief Communication Officer at Johnson & Johnson along with the Johnson & Johnson Evening Committee—fell very close to a much celebrated State Theatre anniversary. This anniversary marks the reopening of the State Theatre as a performing arts center in 1988 (April 24). 

 

Opening in 1921, the State Theatre thrived well into the 60s; until eventually audiences began flocking to new suburban multiplex cinemas. By the 1970s, it was in ruins. In 1979, it was purchased by the New Brunswick Development Corporation as part of New Brunswick’s revitalization project. Critics began to wonder if the State Theatre could be saved.

However, Johnson & Johnson saw The State’s potential as a cultural hub for the burgeoning community. In 1983, the company had The State’s interior, which had been painted black in its movie days, completely whitewashed, and held its first ever off-site Shareholders Meeting here. This was one of the earliest signs of J&J’s commitment to the revitalization of New Brunswick, and was also the beginning of a meaningful collaboration with The State that continues to this day.

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