venues
The Wellmont Theater has been closed since March 2020. Its marquee as seen in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic is above. COURTESY THE WELLMONT THEATER

By DIEGO JESUS BARTESAGHI MENA
bartesaghi@montclairlocal.news

After being closed for more than a year, the Wellmont Theater is hinting an opening could be coming soon.

The theater posted an image to its Instagram and Facebook pages last week of its marquee — which now reads “It’s Almost Showtime XOXO.” As of Friday, nearly 1,200 people had liked its Instagram post.  

“Awesome,” user Chris.Teevan wrote. “It’ll be worth the wait.”




The theater’s website reflects a lineup of upcoming shows. One that had been slated for June 2 — for “The Musical Box, A Genesis Extravaganza” — shows it’s rescheduled to Nov. 4 (after being bumped from several previous dates; tickets for the earlier dates will still be honored).

But the site still says a June 4 show, for “1964: The Tribute” — a re-creation of the Beatles’ live performances — is on. That show, too, had been rescheduled from earlier dates in September 2020 and February of this year. Next up after that are shows in September and beyond. 

Dan Gunderman, of Violet PR, said the Wellmont’s team can’t yet comment on any plans for reopening.

The theater’s last performance before lockdown, according to the “past shows” list on its website, was a stop on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live tour, on March 7.

This month, New Jersey significantly relaxed rules for indoor and outdoor gatherings alike, eliminating percentage-based capacity restrictions on most indoor facilities.

Large indoor venues, including entertainment venues, with a fixed seating capacity of 1,000 or more may host events at up to 30% of their normal capacity (not including participants such as performers and staff). Individuals or groups of individuals that purchase tickets together must remain 6 feet apart. The Wellmont has a normal capacity of about 2,500 audience members.

Smaller venues, like most movie theaters, are limited to 250 people, not including staff.

New Jersey continues to require masks in public spaces indoors, despite CDC guidance that vaccinated people can go maskless. Rules vary by state.

The theater’s site tells visitors it knows they’re eager to return to live entertainment.

“For everyone missing concerts as much as we are, just know we will be here ready to start the show when we can all experience the magic of live music together again,” it said.

An earlier version of this post misstated the name of Violet PR.