(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Cinema Lab, the new operators of The Village Cinemas at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), will reopen the five screen movie theatre on July 22, 2021 with preview pricing for all showtimes for a limited time to welcome movie-goers back to the big screen. The cinema is immediately open for private screening rentals. Since November 2020, the community has been without a movie theatre, and Cinema Lab with the SOPAC team, worked together to bring back major summer blockbusters to South Orange.
The Cinema Lab team, which includes Actor and Producer Patrick Wilson, Entrepreneur and former Stitcher CEO 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.
"On behalf of South Orange Village, I'm thrilled to welcome Cinema Lab to our community,” said Village President Sheena Collum. “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 later this year, The Village at SOPAC will offer five screens with luxurious, plush seating, an updated lobby lounge space and a technology-first environment, allowing guests to be in control of their tickets, pre-order concessions—both beloved traditional and an expanded hot and cold menu—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 at cinemalab.com.
“Movie theaters have always been such an essential part of our culture,” said Parker 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 fifteen months that we have all shared, we are so excited to bring movie-going back to the community.”
Paul Bartick, SOPAC chair, expressed “We're excited to welcome Cinema Lab, a community-focused organization that understands the artistic tastes of our community. The Village at SOPAC will be offering a variety of cinematic arts programming ranging from independent movies, art house films, and Hollywood blockbusters.”
“Our community has keenly felt the loss of arts programming throughout the past months. With the opening of The Village at SOPAC, and live performances scheduled in the Jennifer and Tony Leitner Performance Hall, there is a buzz of anticipation in the air,” stated SOPAC’s Acting Executive Director Dee Billia. “The South Orange Performing Arts Center welcomes Cinema Lab and looks forward to a long and productive relationship.”
The partners and investors behind The Village at SOPAC share a dedication to the cinematic experience at the local level, with a team that includes a pedigree of film industry and business leaders with close ties to New Jersey: Film and television industry veteran and former BAFTA New York Chairman Luke Parker Bowles; film marketing executive and former Studio Movie Grill CMO Brandon Jones; and Andy Childs, original member of the Soho House North American team, who acts respectively as the chief executive officer, chief marketing officer and chief operating officer of Cinema Lab and The Village at SOPAC. The executive team is rounded out by actor Patrick Wilson, entertainment industry veteran Vincent Onorati and Erik Diehn, media executive and Maplewood resident. 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, N.J.) is targeted to open later this year and The Maplewood (in Maplewood, N.J.) will open in 2022. The company aims to open roughly fifteen venues in the next five years across the United States.
Cinema Lab is a movie theatre development and management company focused on community-vital cinemas. We believe movie theatres are the metaphorical and literal heart and soul of creating culture and driving economic growth for many towns and cities. We focus on a technology-first experience with expanded hot and cold menu options and a wide complement of studio, independent and uncommon alternate programming.
Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. It has been voted New Jersey’s Favorite Small Performing Arts Center for the past six years. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances, Seton Hall University Theatre productions and The Village at SOPAC. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.