The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts,
but it is also the return of art in life.
- Playwright Oscar Wilde
Generations of Jersey Shore residents and visitors have treasured memories of the Gateway Playhouse. For nearly a century, the unassuming little theater beckoned visitors to the corner of Bay and Higbee Avenues in the historic Bay District of Somers Point, New Jersey. They came to laugh, to cry, to sing, to dream and to fall in love with storytelling at its best.
Today, the old-time theater that once served as a beloved gathering place now gathers only dust. After standing vacant for more than three years, the Gateway has fallen into disrepair. Unchecked roof leaks have wreaked havoc on the seats and floor. The furnace can no longer heat the place. The carpeting is worn, the walls in need of a fresh coat of paint. A cast of woodland creatures have made their home on the stage where actors once brought characters to life.
But beneath the dust and decay are the remnants of the classic Playhouse. Art Deco aisle panels, tin ceiling tiles and carved sconces whisper of an era gone by. Somers Point has a forgotten gem nestled right in the center of town. The years of misuse and neglect are taking their toll, and the Gateway is fading. The Theater Collaborative of South Jersey is working to breathe new life back into this unsung heroine. Won’t you join us?
The Theater Collaborative of South Jersey exists to enhance the quality of life in the region by providing affordable theater for residents and visitors of all ages. By renovating and reopening the Gateway Playhouse, the Collaborative will contribute to the historic Bay Avenue District's economy, identity, cultural heritage and diversity. The theater's revival will generate income for local business and generate activity within the community. The Collaborative intends to create a destination for local citizens and summer visitors from around the world to the historic Bay Avenue District.