In December of 2003, the 1,850-seat theater began an extensive, $3 million restoration/renovation to return the theater as closely as possible to its original appearance. Experts from the architectural firm of Ford, Farewell, Mills, and Gatch oversaw the cleaning and repair of the handsome terra cotta exterior. On the inside, artists from Conrad Schmitt of Milwaukee, a century-old firm specializing in historic restorations, researched and physically examined several areas of the theater’s interior to determine the original paint colors, decorative trim style, and other signature details of the Thomas W. Lamb theater. The theater underwent ornamental plaster repair, decorative painting, and the replacement of sound and lighting systems.
The newly refurbished State Theatre was unveiled in October 2004. Funding for the 2003-04 restoration was secured by the Middlesex County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders through Middlesex County’s Open Space Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
Today, State Theatre New Jersey is a proud member of the League of Historic American Theatres and continues to flourish as the centerpiece and premier venue for the New Brunswick arts community. State Theatre presents a diverse roster of entertainment, including international orchestras, Broadway, comedy, dance, pop, rock, family events, and more. The theater is the state’s second largest not-for-profit presenting hall, which contributes commensurately to New Jersey’s $45 million performing-arts tourism industry, annually attracting more than 200,000 patrons. In addition, some 30,000 students and teachers annually attend its school performances and participate in its in-school robust education programs, including the Artist-in-Residence program, Family Day, Milk & Cookies Series, Autism-Friendly Relaxed Performances, and other outreach activities.