New Jersey: The Entertainment State
Entertainment is at the heart of New Jersey. Discover unique sites across the state that have served as the central focus of television series, provided the backdrops for blockbuster movies, and set the stage for some of the world’s best musicians.
The Sopranos Final Meal
Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor made famous as the spot where Tony Soprano ate his last meal in the hit HBO show The Sopranos. Fans of the show come for the setting, but Holsten’s signature milkshakes and homemade candy counter have attracted customers since the 1930s. When you go, pick up a Sopranos t-shirt and order the onion rings, just like Tony.
New Jersey’s Hollywood
Today when you think of the movie industry, you probably think of Hollywood. But Fort Lee, New Jersey, is where it all began. Visit the Barrymore Film Center, a new 260-seat cinema and museum that opened in October 2022, to see unforgettable screenings and learn about the birthplace of the American film industry.
Bruce Springsteen’s Favorite Club
One of rock ‘n’ roll’s most prominent music venues, The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, opened its doors in the 1970s and, since then, has hosted rock legends like The Ramones, Kiss, and Jon Bon Jovi. Perhaps most famously, the club was a regular spot for Bruce Springsteen, who played at the Pony more than any other venue. Today you can see shows there featuring popular bands and up-and-comers in nearly every genre.
Comic Books with Jay & Silent Bob
Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash is a comic bookstore in Red Bank named after the comedic characters first introduced in the 1994 movie Clerks. Owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith – Silent Bob himself – The Stash is part novelty store, part museum. With signed comics, movie props on display and plenty of memorabilia for sale, it’s a haven for comic book lovers and fans of Smith’s View Askew Productions.
A Taste of Cake Boss
Once spotlighted in the beloved TLC series Cake Boss, Carlo’s Bakery is a family-owned establishment that dates all the way back to 1910. Now it’s a national sensation, with numerous locations across the country and several spin-off shows that have maintained the bakery’s celebrity status. See where all the magic started and try a pastry at the original Hoboken Bake Shop.
Scenes from Friday the 13th
One of the most popular horror movies of all time, the 1980s slasher Friday the 13th, was filmed in Blairstown. Horror fans can visit some of the movie’s iconic settings, like the local Blairstown Diner and the infamous Camp Crystal Lake—an actual campground in Hardwick called Camp NoBeBoSco.
Performances to Remember
Whether you’re interested in poetry or comedy, ballet or breakdancing, classical music or contemporary sounds, you’ll find a show that speaks to you at one of New Jersey’s first-rate performance arts centers. Explore productions by world-class entertainers at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, and more.
The Big & Small Screen
New Jersey is the birthplace of the film industry, and its diverse landscape, interesting culture and architecture continue to be in the limelight. 2021 saw a record-breaking year of revenue generated from films, commercials and television shoots taking place in towns and cities throughout The Garden State. Click here to see what is being filmed currently.
Unforgettable Film Festivals
Whether you’re passionate about film, work in the industry or just enjoy a fascinating movie or two, New Jersey’s film festivals are for you. Be on the lookout for numerous film festivals popping up throughout the year, including the Garden State Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Atlantic City Cinefest and Trenton Film Festival.
As always, be sure to look up the latest local updates before you go. Browse even more entertainment experiences in New Jersey, download your FREE Travel Guide and sign up for our e-newsletter at VisitNJ.org.