The PNC Bank Arts Center is a modern amphitheatre located in New Jersey, USA. The amphitheater offers seating for 7000, and space for about 10,500 more in the grass area behind it. It is ranked among the top five most successful amphitheatres in the country. There is only one other major outdoor arena in the New York City Metropolitan Area, the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.
Originally the Garden State Arts Center, it first opened on June 12, 1968, with a program featuring pianist Van Cliburn, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It featured seating for 5,000 people with space for about 5,000 more on the lawn area outside the roof. The Arts Center’s programming originally featured a good deal of classical as well as popular music; however during the 1990s classical music was almost completely phased out, and the venue was expanded to compete for the top popular music acts against other, larger amphitheatres on the summer outdoor concert circuit. Thus before the 1996 season, a substantial expansion of the facility was done, with 2,000 seats added and the lawn capacity doubled in size.
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