The History of the Paper Mill Playhouse
The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey opened its doors in 1938 at the site of the historic The Thistle Paper Mill. The very first play to be performed was The Kingdom of God, a play by Martinez Sierra.
Throughout the fifties and sixties, the Paper Mill Playhouse incorporated operettas, plays and musicals into its repertoire. Stars like Jane Fonda, Gene Wilder and Carol Channing performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse.
The Paper Mill Playhouse was declared the “State Theatre of New Jersey” by Governor William Cahill during the 1970s. Even more Hollywood and Broadway stars performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse during this decade, including Academy Award and Tony winning actress, Bernadette Peters, who starred in Dames at Sea.
Tragedy struck in 1980–the Paper Mill Playhouse burnt to the ground on January 14,1980. However, in two short years, the Paper Mill Playhouse reopened in a star-studded opening night gala with a brand new modernized theater that featured accessible seating and an infrared listening system.
The National Endowment for the Arts ranked the Paper Mill Playhouse second in the nation for artistic excellence in 1986, with only the famed Metropolitan Opera in New York City coming out on top.
This historic commitment to excellence has propelled the Paper Mill Playhouse into a new century, being noted for its wonderful theater performances and artistic training programs.
The F.M. Kirby Carriage House
If you’d like to dine before catching a show at the Paper Mill Playhouse, the F.M. Kirby Carriage House is open for 2 and a half hours before each performance serving both lunch and dinner.
Reservations are recommended if you’d like to dine at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House, and you can make reservations by calling (973) 609-2429.
Box Office Information
Box office hours for the Paper Mill Playhouse during the summer are Monday through Friday, opening at 10:00 am and closing at 6:00 pm. On Saturday, the box office opens at 10:00 am and closes at 4:00 pm.
On performance days, the box office is open until 9:00 pm. The box office is closed on Sunday, as well as on certain holidays, including Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July.
The Paper Mill Playhouse box office can be reached through email or telephone. The email is [email protected] and the telephone number is (973) 376-4343. You can also reach the box office via fax at (973) 376-2359.
Planning Your Visit
If you’d like to visit the Paper Mill Playhouse and see a show, there are several ways to reach the playhouse. There is parking available if you are driving and it is also possible to take the train to the Paper Mill Playhouse.
For the Thursday matinee shows, a complimentary shuttle service runs between Kings Super Market in Short Hills and Paper Mill Playhouse.
If you are planning on staying in the area, the Hilton Short Hills is the official hotel of Paper Mill Playhouse. The Hilton Short Hills is located at 41 John F Kennedy Parkway in Short Hills, New Jersey and you can call (973) 379-0100 to make reservations.