LBI's Surflight Theatre Gets New Lease on Life with New Ownership


EACH HAVEN, NJ - When the Surflight Theatre announced the closing back in February 2015, it was a very sad day for all. Over 65 years of shows, the Surflight Theatre was a landmark on Long Beach Island.

Now two years after the theater filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a New York City Broadway producer, Al Parinello, has closed a deal to buy Surflight from TD Bank.

The process with the bank started in early December, Parinello said, "it was a lot of pulling teeth and I was literally waving dollar bills,” but the deal ultimately closed in early February.

Sign Up for E-News

When Parinello began the meeting Monday, he emphasized that "there is absolutely no hidden agenda to demolish the Surflight Theatre and build condos...did everybody hear that?" 

"The ultimate goal is to bring the theatre back," he continued, "the more I researched the more I fell in love, it's a gem. We're here to save it and bring it back on par and better than before."

The crowd applauded because that is something that everyone has been waiting to hear.

Along with the theatre, the famous singing ice cream parlour, Showplace will also reopen this summer.
Al Parinello was born in Hoboken and when he was around 15 or 16 he discovered his love for the arts. Al went to see his first musical "The Fantasticks" at the Sullivan Street Theatre in NYC and that is where he says, "it changed my life."

"Here we are 50 years later, or so and I'm currently the producer of 'The Fantasticks' on Broadway," Parinello said, "theatre is a very special place, it's where the impossible happens."

When Al was finishing up he felt "humbled" and said that him and his team work very hard to make things happen. "Everything I'm involved in, I'm in love with."

Parinello went on to introduce Steve Steiner, longtime friend and former Producing Artistic Director at Surflight, and how they met years back.

When Parinello formerly owned the Atlantic City-based rock radio station, WJSE, he was also producing "very well attended" concerts for a handful of casinos in AC. When one of the casino directors approached him about ways to expand the audience and revenue, Al suggested he could put on musicals, even though he had never done so before.

Al had to learn how to produce these shows, so his friend introduced him to Steve Steiner from Long Beach Island. Steiner and Parinello went on to do a series of musicals together, which "brought a quarter of a million people to AC to see these shows."

During the meeting, Parinello talked about the success that Steiner has previously had and feels confident he can do it again, but only better.

Before Steve came to Surflight, they were taking in under $1 million a year in sales. During Steve's time there the sales reached over $3 million a year. Just 3-4 years after he left, sales went back down to $1.8 million.

The Children's Theatre also saw an increase in ticket sales while Steve was there. Before, Surflight was only selling 15,000 tickets, during, over 20,000, and after he left, the numbers went down to under 10,000 ticket sales.

Although "the ice cream parlour has always done well," Al said, "while Steve was there over $300k in profits went straight to the theatre, after he left they leased it out and it only brought in $20k in profit for Surflight."

Steiner also brought in the concept of concerts to Surflight which brought in more revenue for the theatre.

"Steve knows and lives this industry," Parinello said, "he's constantly looking to provide these services to the community."

They believe together they are going to do exceedingly well, but explained that they still need help from the community through volunteers, donations and ticket sales. "It only works if we all get together and make it work."

"We're just really excited that we can get here and bring the theater back," Steiner said. He is excited to be "going back to the roots" and to "continue to build our audience." Steiner said, "We now already know how to build so we believe we can do it even faster this time around."

When they entered the Surflight Theatre it looked as though a vast majority of the improvements needed will only be cosmetic, but they still will have a full inspection done by an industrial hygienist before they go in and begin all replenishments.

Beach Haven Mayor, Nancy Taggart Davis was in attendance and chimed in by saying, "the Borough of Beach Haven is very excited to have the theatre back. We feel positive that Al, Steve, and the team can make this a success."

Parinello closed the meeting by saying, "this is going to take a lot of work, but we're ready for that battle because it's worth it."

If you are interested in volunteering, you can email

See below for the schedule and list of shows.

Single tickets for the shows will go on sale April 1 and can also be purchased in person at the box office (201 Engleside Avenue in Beach Haven) beginning April 14.

To subscribe to the season, arrange Groups or for more information, contact the Surflight Box Office at (609) 492-9477 as of this Wednesday, March 8.

For ticket orders and donations use address: Surflight Theatre, P.O. Box 1155, Beach Haven, NJ 08008.

For more information, please visit and follow their Facebook page for updates.

Surflight Theatre 2017 Shows:


Footloose - June 23-30, July 1-9

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - July 11-23

Disney’s Newsies the Musical - July 25-31, Aug. 1-13

Hairspray – Aug. 15-27

Million Dollar Quartet Aug. 29-31, Sept. 1-10

Home for the Holidays: A Surflight Celebration – Dec. 7-17

The Children's Theatre

All shows will begin at 6 p.m.

Cinderella - June 21-25

Sleeping Beauty - June 28-30, July 1-2

Peter Pan - July 5-9

Snow White - July 12-16

Wizard of Oz - July 19-23

Sleeping Beauty - July 26-30

Cinderella – Aug. 2-6

Peter Pan – Aug. 9-13

Wizard of Oz – Aug. 16-20

101 Dalmatians – Aug. 23-27

Winnie the Pooh – Aug. 30-31, Sept. 1-3


John Davidson - July 31

The Coasters, Drifters and Platters – Aug. 7

The New Millennium Jazz Band Plays the Sinatra Songbook – Nov. 25

The Education Division is also expected to present the high school version of Rock of Ages with local students Oct. 20-22.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at or go ...

Millburn Police Investigating Theft at Louis Vuitton Store

March 13, 2018

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer McMillan stopped a 2003 Acura 3.2 on Parsonage Hill/Passaic for having no front plate and tinted windows. The investigation led to the arrest of 33 year old Horace Hall Jr of Newark for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Hall Jr was released on a summons.

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 8:30 AM

St. Vincent Martyr School, Madison

Open House for Preschool, Kindergarten & First ...



Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

My Clutter is Taking Over! with Jamie Novak at ...

Home & Garden


Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

All-Star Basketball Event Coming to Millburn

March 17, 2018

Millburn All Stars vs. Pros – Saturday March 24, 6:00 pm

Community Event at Millburn High School

On Saturday, March 24th, the Millburn High School Senior Celebration 2018 Committee is partnering with Dreams for Kids, Inc., to present Millburn All-Stars vs. Pros.

At the All-Star Basketball event, a team of NFL players will take on teams from the Millburn/Short Hills ...

Millburn Summer Pool Employment

The Millburn Recreation Dept. is accepting applications for  Lifeguards andthe Assistant Manager and head Swim Coach positions at the Township Pool.  Interested persons may apply at the Recreation Dept. in Town Hall or visit to download an employment application.

Email inquiries to or call 973-564-7064 for further ...

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn Hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers

If you are passionate about educating and nurturing young minds, you may fit right in with our family! Lightbridge Academy is currently hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers to join our team and grow with us!

If you would like to learn more about the positions offered, you can reach us at 973-218-1800.