WEST ORANGE, NJ — The National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary this year with special programs and exhibits at its national parks across the country, including the Thomas Edison National Historic Park located in West Orange.
As part of the centennial year, the Thomas Edison NHP received upgrades to its theater room. It's only fitting that a modern audio-visual theater be located on the site where the motion picture camera was invented.
Thomas Edison NHP Visitor's Center now features a large smart TV, comfortable seating, custom cabinetry, a wireless lectern, and public Wi-Fi. The intention is to enhance the visitor experience; to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.
An inspirational quote and trademark Thomas Edison “umbrella signature” decorates the main video screen wall.
The theater shows a variety of films throughout the day including Thomas Edison’s 1903 classic, The Great Train Robbery. The newest feature is The Wizard of West Orange (2016). This film is a documentary short about the genius of Thomas Edison, his inventions, his life, and his workshops produced and directed by the Media Arts Department of NJ City University.
A central feature of the renovation is custom built cabinetry to house the theater’s audiovisual equipment. Both the design and construction was completed by Monk’s Home Improvements of Morristown, who donated their services and materials for the project.
Trevor Monk, of Monk's Home Improvements, explained that the unit was designed to complement the historic character of the room.
"We wanted the cabinetry to both physically fit the space, as well as fit the style of the historic park" Monk said.
“We are so pleased to bring this visitor experience upgrade to the park through a public-private partnership with such a generous donation from Monk’s Home Improvements.” said Superintendent Thomas E. Ross. “The interest and support we have received from visitors, partners, and the business community has been tremendous and has really made our Centennial year special.”
For more information about visiting the Thomas Edison NHP, call 973-736-0550 ext. 11 or visit: www.nps.gov/edis