- Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Jones Beach Theater Address 1000 Ocean Parkway
Wantagh, New York 11793
Location Jones Beach State Park Type Amphitheatre Opened 1952 Renovated 1992 Expanded 1998 Former name(s) Jones Beach Marine Theater (1952-94)
Jones Beach Amphitheater (1994-2000)
Jones Beach Theater (2000-02)
Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater (2002-06)
Capacity 15,000 Website http://www.jonesbeach.com/
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater is an outdoor amphitheatre, located at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, New York. It is one of two major outdoor arenas in the New York metropolitan area, along with PNC Bank Arts Center. The theater was designed to specifications provided by Robert Moses, who created Jones Beach State Park.
Opened in 1952 as the Jones Beach Marine Theater, the venue originally had 8,200 seats and hosted musicals. Moses had several boxes designated for his own use - Moses' friend Guy Lombardo performed often in the early years. The opening show was the operetta extravaganza "A Night in Venice" by Johann Strauss II, produced by film producer, Mike Todd, complete with floating gondolas and starring Enzo Stuarti, Norwood Smith and Nola Fairbanks. Lombardo's final show was the 1977 production of Finian's Rainbow, with Christoper Hewett in the title role. After Lombardo's death in 1977, the series resumed in 1978 with Annie Get Your Gun, starring Lucie Arnaz. Beginning in the 1980s, the primary focus of the venue would change to concerts. In 1991 and 1992, under contract from concert promoter Ron Delsner, the theatre would undergo an extensive renovation, adding a second level, and increasing the capacity to 11,200 seats. The capacity was expanded again in 1998 to hold 15,000 seats. The original design of the theater had a "moat" — the stage was actually on Zachs Bay and separated from the beach, and performers could be brought to the stage by boat (some scenes had floating scenery). The moat was covered or filled in during the first renovation and seats closer to the stage were installed. The Guy Lombardo Orchestra would pass through the "moat" on a yacht during the intermissions. The band would play tunes while floating in front of the audience.
Later years and today
In 2002, the company of clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger purchased the naming rights to the venue, giving it the name Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater for four years. On April 13, 2006, after Tommy Hilfiger, under new ownership, declined its option to keep the company's name on the theater, naming rights were purchased by the camera company Nikon, giving the venue its current name, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. The venue has a strict no-alcohol policy except in designated VIP boxes located behind the orchestra & the VIP tent area. Separate additional tickets are required to enter the popular VIP tent area. In 2009 Jones Beach introduced The Bay Stage. The performances will be staged in an alternate location on the theater property. The general admission capacity is 5,000.
- PNC Bank Arts Center, an outdoor amphitheatre in Holmdel Township, New Jersey
- List of contemporary amphitheatres
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