MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Pinnacle Companies have announced their purchase of Montclair's historic Wellmont Theater.
The Pinnacle Companies, along with its institutional investor, a global commercial property company that owns, operates and invests in bestin-class assets, announced that the firms have collaborated to purchase the Wellmont Theater.
The team is currently investing significant dollars to renovate and upgrade the property, originally built in 1922 as a live theater and converted to a motion picture theater in 1929 where the original entrance was located at 400 Bloomfield Ave. The team plans on turning it into a world-class live entertainment venue.
“The Wellmont Theater is a tremendous asset for the Township of Montclair, and we are thrilled to bring it up to its full potential as a regional attraction,” said Brian M. Stolar, president and chief executive officer of The Pinnacle Companies. Live Nation Entertainment, the largest concert promoter in the world, will program and manage an expanded lineup of performances and programming when the theater reopens in September.
“We’re planning to offer more shows and a greater variety of live entertainment options at the Wellmont than before – with a mix of small, medium and large performances,” said Sean Striegel, regional senior vice-president of music for Live Nation Entertainment. A music-themed restaurant and bar will be located in the former Xocolatz restaurant space adjacent to the theater, offering food and drink options for patrons. The restaurant will be connected to the lobby of the theater, as originally designed in 1922.
The team is also pursuing the acquisition of the former Social Security building adjacent to the Wellmont Theater on Bloomfield Avenue in order to support the future, long-term success of the theater in particular and the arts district overall.
In the 1930s, Thomas Edison, inventor of motion pictures, attended movies at the Wellmont. In the 1970s, the theater was tri-plexed and the entry was moved to Seymour Street, while the original lobby was converted to a restaurant. The Wellmont closed in 2006 and reopened in 2008 as a concert venue, with capacity for 2,700 (1,600 for seated shows), making it the largest theater venue in the area.