Save The Williams Center/Newman Theatre

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For decades, the William Carlos Williams Performing Arts Center, formerly the Rivoli Theatre, was the jewel of our downtown arts and retail district, attracting world famous artists to its stage. The William Center's owner, Bergen County, is planning to auction it this summer.  Rutherford is currently creating a development plan that will determine what the future owner is able to do with the site. 

I am writing to urge that the historic Newman Theatre be preserved and restored.  Destroying the Newman Theater and creating a much smaller theater in its place is an inadequate solution because small stand-alone theaters are not financially viable.  Reviving the Center's mission as a thriving arts center will bring much needed foot traffic and funds to nearby businesses, and create a vibrant commons for local residents and visitors.  

Don't let this beautiful and historic building be destroyed.  I request that Rutherford and Bergen County mandate in any redevelopment plan and in any contract with a developer, that they preserve the Newman Theatre.   Let's protect Rutherford's unique history while working together toward a more prosperous and creative future! 

Notes about community meetings:  There will be two Bergen County public hearings that residents can virtually attend: March 24th at 12pm and April 7th at 6pm.  The Williams Center auction will also be discussed at the next Rutherford Planning Board meeting (March 18th, 7pm) and Mayor and Council meeting (March 22, 6:30pm). Please contact your local council members individually in addition to signing the petition.  

To make a donation to the Williams Center and our cause, please use this link:

For more information about this petition, please email questions to or savethewcwc@gmailcom