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Philly2Philly Spotlight on: The Scottish Rite Theater in Collingswood, NJ


The Collingswood Scottish Rite Auditorium is one of the largest privatelyThe Scottish Rite Theater in Collingswood, NJ owned theatres in South Jersey. The Gothic-Deco design building boasts 1,015 fixed stadium style seats with no obstructed views and superb acoustics.
The theatre was built in 1931 by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. The Borough of Collingswood realizing the value and potential of this site stepped in to save the building from the wrecking ball.  The loss of this building would have been irreplaceable in its physical quality as well as classic character. It was understood that such a unique facility would add to Collingswood’s reputation as a destination.
The leadership of Mayor Jim Maley, Commissioners Joan Leonard and Louis Cappelli realized this “diamond in the rough” would be a tremendous value to Collingswood, Camden County and the South Jersey region. After nearly six years of negotiation, the Borough entered into a 50 year lease with the Masons, staring January 1, 2003. 
The first phase of reconstruction was to renovate the dining hall into the Grand Ballroom. The beautifully appointed Ballroom now hosts weddings, galas and corporate events. With an elegant Cinderella style stairway as a grand entrance and unique dome chandeliers, the Ballroom is indeed the talk of the town. 
The Theatre while not renovated remains an incredible taste of the 30’s with gloriously high wooden ceilings encasing a stained glass centerpiece surrounded by lofty original glass windows.  At the center of the seating area sits a fully functional pipe organ, which is sometimes played during intermissions. To sit in the splendor of this auditorium is to take a trip back in time.
Programming has brought diverse entertainment to the South Jersey region such as Outside the Scottish Rite Theater in Collingswood, NJinternationally acclaimed artists Robert Klein, Joan Baez, Steven Wright, Kansas, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
David Crosby, who also performed in this acoustically remarkable space is quoted as saying “It’s the coolest place I’ve ever played.” Local arts organizations such as The Collingswood Community Theater and many other regional performing arts groups have also enjoyed their theatrical stay at the Scottish Rite. 
In the brief eight years since the Collingswood Foundation for the Arts was formed the theater has welcomed over 250,000 visitors who have enjoyed the benefit of this previously undiscovered gem.
The Scottish Rite Auditorium/Theater is located at 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ 08107  

Be sure to catch 'An Evening with Broadway star Linda Eder,' which takes place on 3/19. 

For tickets or information visit:
http://www.collingswood.com/entertainment/theater-and-ballroom  or call 856.858-1000 
Pati Buehler
Philly2Philly.com, Entertainment & Cultural writer

Broadwayworld.com, NJ & Philadelphia regional events writer

Contact Pati at pbuehler@philly2philly.com

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