SOPAC Postpones Performances, Gala After Damage from Ida

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From the South Orange Performing Arts Center:

As you have likely heard, SOPAC has been forced to reschedule our September shows and events, which unfortunately includes our “SOPAC is SO Back” celebration on September 25th. We promise to reschedule, to gather together on a future date, to show our appreciation for our devoted patrons, members, sponsors, and funders and celebrate the resilience of SOPAC.

Further details on the effects of Ida may be found HERE , including information on how you can help, if you so choose.

SOPAC is SO Ready to welcome you back but not until we repair the necessary damages from the storm, and it is safe to do so.

The Village at SOPAC Remains Open During Storm Recovery

That being said, you can now enjoy movies on the big screen! The Village at SOPAC remains open while recovery efforts are underway at SOPAC.

See more information about SOPAC here:

Dear SOPAC Friends,

We hope you and your families remained safe during Hurricane Ida and continue to stay healthy as we still face the effects of Covid.

The SOPAC Board of Governors and staff were so excited to welcome you back to SOPAC on September 25th to celebrate the survival of SOPAC through Covid – and most importantly, to thank YOU in person for your unwavering support as we navigated these unprecedented times together! And then Hurricane Ida hit…and all plans went out the window – along with our carpeting, elevator service, backstage area, basement, and more.

There was a performance at SOPAC on September 1 when Tropical Storm 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, through the west-facing windows and through the roof.

Watch NEWS12 storm coverage here.

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 and to South Orange Downtown for their support of SOPAC and all the local businesses.

SOPAC staff continued to work long hours and through the holiday 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 cancel events for the remainder of the month.

Picture of the Lobby, taken 9/13/21

Summary of Damages

  • Walls & insulation in lobby & theatre
  • Carpeting in lobby and theatre
  • Orchestra pit
  • Production equipment
  • First floor restrooms
  • Elevator shaft
  • Roof damage which expedites the need for replacement

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.

Donate. Become a member or renew. Gift a membership.

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.


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