Information on:

Pax Amicus Castle Theatre

23 Lake Shore Road
973-691-2100

The Founding of Pax Amicus

But Pax Amicus Theatre actually began seven years earlier. In 1970 Stan Barber and Bob Findlay (both are still residents of Mt. Olive), tenured teachers at West Morris Regional High School in Chester, left their jobs to found PAX AMICUS, a community art center which they originally housed in a historic, (built in the 1850s) former Presbyterian church in Flanders, which they purchased with personal loans and mortgages. Within a year of remodeling and rebuilding, assisted by teens, their parents and many good Samaritans, they were up and running, opening its doors with a musical tribute to Jacques Brel, the French and Belgian troubadour who set the tone for the musical and social revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s.

By 1977, Pax Amicus, by then a successful community theatre, made the decision to purchase the Knights of Columbus Hall and convert it into a castle as a home for its growing theatre for children productions.

Stan Barber, Pax's co-founder and director, with the herculean labor of friends and colleagues: Paul Berry (of Mt. Olive), George Stults (of Washington Township), Rusty Cook (of Basking Ridge), Tim O'Brien (of Chester) and John Hammel (of Morristown), conceived and rebuilt the dilapidated, aging building into one of Mt. Olive's most vibrant and visible landmarks.

The re-construction took less than two years, and for their efforts Pax Amicus Castle was named Outstanding Building of the Year – FIRST PLACE by the National Remodelers Association. The guests of honor at its ribbon cutting ceremony, which also included a production of A Man for All Seasons, included Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West, of the MGM film classic of The Wizard of Oz, and an up-and-coming unknown young actor named Kevin Bacon.

For 6 years, both theatres - the Church Theatre in Flanders and the new Castle Theatre - functioned full time, but in 1983, it was decided to move all productions to the Castle, and the old Church was sold to a private family. Sadly, in 2011, a fire destroyed the top half of the old Presbyterian Church (gratefully, no one was hurt) and its future will depend on its present owners.



Reviews

Regina Breda

Rating:
Friday, June 8, 2018
Very fun experience. "I love you, you're perfect..." was excellent. Players were all good, theater workers were friendly and very nice

Walter Stanek

Rating:
Friday, June 15, 2018
Casual place. Some good entertainment. Lots of support for young people with interest in theater.

Carlos Vera

Rating:
Friday, March 9, 2018
This hidden gem in Budd Lake NJ is worth visiting. This theater continues to produce great shows again and again. An awesome place to take the family.

John Doherty

Rating:
Friday, Nov. 24, 2017
A little hidden but very interesting setup. All the plays I have seen have been well produced. Great place to see plays in the local area.

Kristina McVeigh

Rating:
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Wonderful family friendly theater. Reasonably priced. The building actually looks like a castle. Always lots of fun!

Pax Amicus Castle Theatre is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media

Upcoming Events at Pax Amicus Castle Theatre

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Friday, Sep 7, 2018 at 8:00pm
Budd Lake, NJ
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