During Hollywood's Golden Age, The Community Theatre was the crowning achievement of Walter Reade's chain of New Jersey movie palaces. By the 1980s, after five decades of movie screenings and catastrophic popcorn wars, the theater sat in disrepair. Concerned citizens banded together in 1994 to save the historic building from a sad end, and in May 2011, after a series of renovations, the theater officially changed its name to the Mayo Performing Arts Center. The venue currently hosts more than 200 performances a year, occasional art showings, and performance-arts education classes for adults and children.
Danbury Ice Arena's professional skating instructors introduce students to the fine art of figure-eighting with weekly classes based on the curriculum of the Ice Skating Institute. Children as young as three years old can begin instruction in the Tot 1 course, which is designed to instill a sense of comfort and confidence on the ice through techniques such as marching in place, falling properly, and getting up. As skaters expand their abilities, they may continue with progressive course levels that build upon each other. Both adult and child introductory courses focus on beginning techniques such as marching and stopping, which provide a foundation for techniques learned in advanced levels such as performing one-foot glides, making snowplow stops, and evading goalies who have grown tired of being senselessly bombarded with pucks.
One of the nation's most esteemed Shakespeare outfits, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has brought the playwright's work to life for the past half-century. But the troupe takes its name more as an inspiration than a strict limit, also mounting productions of other classics by writers such as Thornton Wilder and Noël Coward. Once a summer, the company takes to the College of Saint Elizabeth's outdoor amphitheater—modeled after Athens' Theater of Dionysius, a favorite venue for Shakespeare performances in Greece—to present the bard's work in the way he intended: alive under the open sky.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
As a living landmark to the performing arts and cornerstone of the Rahway Arts District, the Union County Performing Arts Center has endured history and earned its way onto the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Recently restored to its 1928 luster, the former Rahway Theatre retains the charm and grandeur of its vaudeville theater origins while encouraging new forms of entertainment. From its 1,300 seats––where crowds once gathered to watch RKO movies and WWII newsreels––audiences can marvel at the theater’s opulent, gold-crested ceilings and ponder how many dresses can be made from its rich red drapes. One of the theater’s proudest treasures is its original Wurlitzer organ, which is small in stature, but emits massive sound out of its 500 pipes.
The pristine, recently renovated fairways at Meadows Golf Club snake around 12 ponds that vary in size and factor into play-making decisions on at least 14 holes. Water makes itself a prevalent threat to golf balls that are afraid to swim on the 9th and 18th holes, where larger ponds loom ominously to finish out the front and back nines. The 9th, a 240-yard uphill par 3, demands steely nerved shots over two ponds: one that stretches past the tee box to the player's center-right and another that runs along the left all the way to the green. On the par 4 18th, players again face down a tee shot over water, this time being forced to keep their drive to the right to avoid water along the length of the fairway, as well as packs of ravenous ball washers that roam the course in search of prey.