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Located in downtownEnglewood,NJ our theater has been a vital part of the cultural landscape since 1926, serving as the principal artistic and educational resource for Northern New Jersey. Originally built for vaudeville, the house was later converted to a movie theater and operated as such until 1973, when it closed. Through the efforts of a group of local citizens under the leadership of John Harms, the theater reopened as a music performance hall, The John Harms Center, on October 10, 1976. In the 1990s, two major renovation projects turned the not-for-profit John Harms Center into a modern concert hall and media facility, while preserving the vintage acoustics that made it a unique sought-after performance and recording site. The innovations incorporated over 80 years ago are what make the theater a unique and exhilarating performance space for artists today.
In 2002, concerns related to post 9/11 economic impact called for the reorganization of the theater, and on April 30, 2003 bergenPAC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization and community arts organization, was formed. All sectors of the community were engaged, bringing together corporations, government agencies, and residents to add the commitment and support necessary to revitalize this unique Center. Today, bergenPAC reaches out to audiences totaling over 250,000 and our education programs reach 30,000 young people. The facilities include a state-of-the-art 1367-seat theater, 90-seat cabaret hall, an art gallery, and two dance studios. The Center is also an award-winning recording house. To date, bergenPAC has recorded and broadcast two A&E specials, four HBO Comedy Specials, one QVC worldwide broadcast, one WB broadcast, one co-produced live broadcast in conjunction with WFUV, one PBS special, and by having a fiber-optic linkage to the Bennett Studios; our theater has been the site of 15 Grammys and 18 Grammy-nominated recordings.
The mission of bergenPAC is to make the live performing arts accessible to all by building a creative home and education center that guides and liberates the imagination of our young, inspires and expands the lives of our adults, and attracts established and emerging artists of excellence and relevance. As the premier cultural institution in New Jersey's most populous county, bergenPAC provides an inspiring continuum of creative arts and educational programs for everyone in our community.