William Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts

1 Williams Plaza,
Rutherford, NJ 07070

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Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on July 17, 2023 at 8:24 am

I photographed the Williams Center/Rivoli Theatre a while ago. Here’s some photos and a short write up at After the Final Curtain.

ridethectrain on June 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

Please update, total seats for the Williams Cinemas which open on April 27, 1982 as a expansion to the Newman Theatre is live performance (Grand Opening ad in photos) is 343 seats. Theatre 1 189 Theatre 2 89 Theatre 3 65 Theatre open as 2 screens expanded to 3 screens later on.

Newman Theatre which is performing arts is 692 Should have seperate page. This complex is like SOPAC that maybe the Newman theatres should have a separate page similar to SOPAC

see article in photos section about the cinemas and expansion

DavidZornig on June 27, 2021 at 4:25 am

Bergen County is auctioning off the William Center this Summer.
Save The William Center link below, with auction link within.


fotogbill on November 27, 2016 at 11:12 am

You can actively see our progress, read our history and view images of the Rivoli and Williams Center at www.WilliamsCenter.org

fotogbill on November 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

Thanks for posting the top photo from my book Rutherford: Images of America (Arcadia)I am a Rutherford, NJ Historian and on the board of trustees that is actively saving the Williams Center / Rivoli. We currently screen first run digitally projected movies, host live shows and events in our three newly renovated Center Cinemas, lobby, concession area and upstairs terrace. However, the Rivoli stage is currently dark as some of the ceiling has allegedly been deemed to be unsafe. But please know that we are seeking partners in the Rivoli’s preservation and we will reopen the full house in all its splendor. If interested in partnering with us, asking a historical question or just offering suggestions please send me an email at . Thanks for your interest in preserving and reopening the Williams Center / Rivoli. Oh btw. we are hosting the premier of the exceptional movie “Paterson” on December 12th, 2016 with Director Jim Jarmusch and his production staff on hand. The screen play involves a bus driver named Paterson who drives a bus in Paterson, NJ and is loosely based on the poetic inspirations of poet Dr.William Carlos Williams who lived all his life just a block away from the William’s Center in our town.

fotogbill on July 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

If you would like to contact me directly please use >

fotogbill on July 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

So here is the update. The Williams Center / Rivoli has just negotiated and taken delivery (God they were heavy) three digital projectors that will be installed and will replace the film projectors. This will allow the Williams Center Cinemas to reopen and run first run movies and other cinematic offerings.

atmos on May 1, 2016 at 2:53 am

Rivoli opened 22 Apr 1922.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2016 at 6:50 am

I just posted two images in Photos about the lobby fire that closed the Rivoli on January 9, 1977. The last movie to play the Rivoli was “Across the Great Divide”. How I would’ve loved to see “Star Wars”, which came out later that year, at the Rivoli.

fotogbill on June 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm

“Save the Williams Center” is seeking advice on converting their cinemas from film to digital projection. These cinemas are a vital part of the William Carlos Williams Center. A conversion must happen soon or the entire center, including the Rivoli Theatre may close for good and be demolished. We need help and smart advice! Please contact me at > Billy

John Fink
John Fink on June 27, 2015 at 7:10 am

Williams Center Cinemas are officially closed as of June 22nd – one of the last theaters in Jersey to run all 35MM first run (I think the Lincoln Cinemas in Kearny are still 35MM but I have no confirmation on that) – article in the Bergen Record: http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/rutherford-s-williams-center-cinemas-close-due-to-film-to-digital-conversion-1.1361373

moviebuff82 on May 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

what a shame that movies won’t be shown here anymore in the rutherford area until the 26 screen theater opens soon near the meadowlands.

narucki on April 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

If you would like to save this theater, please sign our petition to let our elected leaders know that we want to keep this theater an active performing arts center! https://www.change.org/p/paul-sarlo-james-tedesco-save-the-williams-center

fotogbill on January 9, 2015 at 6:25 am

Yes the theatre is in suspension as it is being considered for “redevelopement” There is a good possibility that it will not remain a theatre.

Trolleyguy on January 9, 2015 at 6:00 am

There are no events or movies listed on the current schedule.

fotogbill on January 9, 2015 at 5:36 am

Hi Atmos I am a local historian who is compiling information about the Rivoli and the George Newman Theatre in Rutherford, NJ. So I am always looking for additional information on it. Can you tell me more history of the theatre and who is John Eberson how you know about the remodeling? We are trying to save this theater so everything helps.

atmos on January 9, 2015 at 3:38 am

Theatre was remodelled by John Eberson in 1936.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

I’ve run across a reference that may not be accurate. It says that Wurlitzer organ opus 1117 (10 ranks) was moved to the Rivoli (Rutherford NJ) but there’s no date when that might have happened. Opus 1117 had originally been installed at the Regent in Kearny NJ in 1925. Seems odd that the Rivoli would sell opus 482 (9 ranks) and buy the used 1117 which was only 1 rank bigger. That’s a lot of money and hassle for 1 rank. Wonder if the Rivoli and the Regent were owned by the same company?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm

A 1985 article in the Rutherford News Leader said that the Rivoli was built in 1922, and was designed by architect Abram Preiskel. Preiskel was also for many years a partner in the operation of the Rivoli Theatre with Harry Hecht, as mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine of September 20, 1941.

Indirect confirmation of 1922 as the Rivoli’s opening year is found in a September 14, 1946, Boxoffice article about a Mr. William D. Waldron, which mentions that he had been managing director of the Rivoli in Rutherford for nine years when, in 1931, he finally got the city to allow movies to be shown on Sunday.

NannyDeb on September 7, 2009 at 11:59 am

I just was here last night (9/6/09) and had a very strange experience. I am hoping it was because it was Sunday night of Labor Day weekend. I went to see the 7:00 showing of “Shorts” with my granddaughter and thought it be fun to go to a theatre that I went to as a kid since I grew up in the neighboring town of North Arlington. We had the only 2 tickets for the 7:00 showing which was sort of neat to be in Cinema 2 alone and feel like it was our own private theatre. Cinema 1 was suppose to show “The Time Travelers Wife” and they did not even show it since not even 1 ticket was sold for this movie. GI Joe played with a couple of people in there and Glorious Bestards played also with a ghost audience. Afterwards we walked around and looked into what use to be the old Rivoli and it is still in need of major renovation from what I could see. It was sort of eerie being there with basically no one around. My 10 year old granddaughter thought it was really cool. I just hope that on other nights they have a much larger attendance because if not I have no idea how they will be able to maintain keeping the doors open.

fotogbill on March 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I was just informed of the Wurlitzer Opus 482 from the Rivoli in Rutherford, NJ and I would like to contact the present owner. Can anyone suggest a way to contact this person or company? Please reply directly to I would be interested in it’s purchase and return to the Rivoli / Williams Center

wurl240 on March 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

The Wurlitzer Opus 482 from the Rivoli did go to Spokane, WA. years ago. The console, featured in a 1924 Wurlitzer sales catalog, is
now stored in the San Francisco Bay Area. Anyone interested in
putting an instrument back into the Newman-Rivoli…? The organ was
separated from the console 30+ years ago.

AndrewBarrett on September 19, 2008 at 2:55 am

It would be nice if, as part of the theatre renovation, they could buy back the original organ! It is currently listed for sale by a gentleman up in Washington state:

View link

Perhaps the GSTOS chapter of ATOS can get involved?

BergenCountyFilmCommission on March 25, 2008 at 6:04 am

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and all films presented by the Bergen County FIlm Commission at the Williams Center will be screened in the Rivoli. The only time we will screen in other areas of the Williams Center will be during our 3-day September 26-28 Reel Jersey Film Festival. This festival will access all the screens in the Williams Center including the Rivoli to showcase not only classic films but also present day filmmakers from around the country and the films of high school students based in Bergen County. This is “Reel Jersey Film Festival: A Celebration of American Film Past, Present & Future.”

Hope to see you in the Rivoli of the Williams Center this Thursday night at 7:30PM (March 27th) for Baby Jane and on Friday, March 28 at 7:30PM for An Evening of Vaudeville with Uncle Floyd which will include a screening of restored Vitaphone vaudeville shorts.

See www.bergencountyfilmcommission.org for a full calendar of our listings through April. We will soon add our calendar for September through December 2008.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm

This is great news. At last the Rivoli, where I spent several hundred hours of my childhood and teen years, is open for movies again.

Is “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” being shown in the Rivoli on 3/27, or at one of the other Williams Center screens?