Montclair’s Wellmont Theater a destination for live music and more

If you’re in the mood to see a big-name entertainer, you don’t need to head to New York City to see them. That’s because The Wellmont Theater, located in the heart Montclair, is now putting the town on the map when it comes to live shows.

“The Wellmont Theater opened its doors in 1922. It was originally a venue for vaudeville acts and stage plays. It even brought in some great talent such as like Charlie Chaplan. In the early 80s it was changed from a one house room to a triplex movie theater,” Carly Wolfson, director of artist and customer relations, said.

Ten years ago, the theater underwent $3 million in renovations to restore its original stage from 1922.

“So in 2008, the venue was renovated and converted into a music venue and hosted some top talent — BB King, the Backstreet Boys, Al Green, rock acts and even some local Montclair talent,” Wolfson said.

The venue seats 1,600 to 2,500. And if you’re looking for a preconcert prescription, they have that too.

“We just opened this year Pharmacie Liquor Bar, which is our restaurant and bar attached to the lobby of the theater. And with that we are developing a VIP program for our patrons who want to come out and just heighten their experience here, possibly meet the artist, have a little show beforehand, grab a bite to eat and just make a really memorable night,” she said.

Wolfson hopes the Seymour Redevelopment project, which would include residential units, retail space, and an indoor parking lot, will make the venue and town a place for guests and artists to eat, sleep and play.

“We’re looking to have people come early and stay late, to really have this become a hub around coming out to a show, come and have dinner, and find something to do with the kids to do beforehand,” Wolfson added. “There are so many things that are within walking distance of the theater. They can come out and grab a bite to eat, get their nails done, have a massage or even go to the gym. We can tell them all of the things that they can come here to enjoy without having to hop in a car or stay on a tour bus all day.”