As of Monday, November 15:
- Construction has begun in our mainstage theatre and lobby. We’ll welcome patrons back to these spaces in early 2022.
As of Thursday, October 14:
- The lobby and mainstage are closed to the public and under renovation. We’ll welcome patrons back to these spaces in early 2022. Mainstage shows through January are in the process of being rescheduled.
As of Tuesday, September 21:
- The extent of damages to SOPAC’s mainstage and lobby are under ongoing evaluation. Events through December 7 are in the process of being rescheduled.
As of Thursday, September 2:
- SOPAC is undergoing clean up after Hurricane Ida. The extent of damages to SOPAC will be evaluated while cleanup begins. Events through September are in the process of being rescheduled.
A Message to Our Community:
We want to extend our concern and support to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida. It has been devastating to read and watch news reports about the storm’s destruction. We hope that you are safe and continue to remain so while our region recovers from the impacts of the storm.
Unfortunately, SOPAC and the surrounding downtown South Orange area experienced extensive damage from flooding. SOPAC’s lobby and mainstage are currently under renovation. We’ll welcome patrons back to these spaces in early 2022.
As we recover, and work to reschedule the events we were all looking forward to, ticketholders will be contacted directly and the SOPAC website will continue to be updated.
While we are under renovations, please remember that we’re so much more than our mainstage!
- The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery located on the second and third floors is free and open to all. On December 4, celebrate and support the Gallery at the 10th Anniversary fundraiser, which marks the opening of the exhibition L’dor V’dor: Carrying the Torch. The exhibit will be on view from December 4, 2021-January 30, 2022.
- Events are still taking place in the SOPAC Loft, a 2,100-square-foot space located on the third floor. On December 1, the standup comedy series Laughs in the Loft will continue. On December 11, experience R&B artist E.R.I.C. (Extra Rich In Class). On December 18, hear Blues bassist Mike Griot and some special guests.
- Movies are back on the big screen at the Village at SOPAC, the movie theatre powered by Cinema Lab offering the latest blockbusters and independent films.
SOPAC Storm RecapWatch News12 Coverage
There was a performance at SOPAC on September 1 when Hurricane Ida reached our region. Three SOPAC staff remained on the premises throughout the evening and into the morning. They provided shelter and assistance to NJ Transit train passengers who were returning home and they immediately responded to water coming into the building through the entrances, west-facing windows and roof.
We are hugely indebted to the staff members who remained at SOPAC overnight. Without their immediate response and ongoing efforts, damages sustained to the building would have been far greater. The flood damage also reached their personal cars in the NJ Transit parking lot, which were ultimately totaled. We are also grateful to the Township of South Orange Village for their quick response and ongoing support and to South Orange Downtown for their support of SOPAC and all the local businesses.
SOPAC staff continued to work long hours and through Labor Day weekend with the optimistic outlook that we could reopen for performances September 10. A remediation crew was quickly identified and brought on site. However, once the damages were thoroughly assessed, and the extent of necessary repairs determined, we were left with no choice but to postpone events for the remainder of the month.
Summary of Damages
- The carpeted lobby was flooded with approximately 6 inches of water. Mold was found under the wallpaper in the lobby.
- Water went into the theatre, running down the raked seating area and collecting in the orchestra pit.
- The lobby and theatre walls were soaked with water up to about two feet high.
- The stage was saturated in one area and it is currently unknown how much water remains underneath. The stage is in the process of being dismantled to continue damage investigations.
- A sound board was damaged and determined a loss.
- The roof leaked in several areas.
- All elevators were flooded.
- The loading dock sustained significant water damage.
How You Can Help
Now is the time to show your support for New Jersey’s Favorite Small Performing Arts Center. Please consider a donation or become a SOPAC member today. You, our community of patrons, keep us going and we thank you for your continued generosity. We can’t wait to see you again.
Your support will assist SOPAC’s recovery efforts as are forced to delay our reopening yet again. It has been a difficult year, but we are working efficiently to repair and replace the damaged items and areas in our theatre including the carpets, orchestra pit, production equipment, and roof. SOPAC will also provide financial assistance to the staff members whose cars were totaled while they worked through the storm.
We are thankful for our team and their continued dedication and for our patrons and community for continued support as restorations begin.
If you have tickets to an event that is being rescheduled, please hold onto your tickets until a new date is announced or, as an alternative to a refund, please consider donating the value of your tickets to SOPAC to assist with flood-related repairs. All donations of $60 or more ($50 if you are a South Orange or Maplewood resident and/or a senior citizen) include SOPAC Membership.