🎤 The NJ Hall of Fame opens the first-ever entertainment and learning center

🎤 The ELC celebrates over 230 inductees with state-of-the-art exhibits

🎤 It should be fully open to the public very soon


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EAST RUTHERFORD — The New Jersey Hall of Fame has unveiled the first-ever entertainment and learning center in the U.S., celebrating over 230 inductees with state-of-the-art exhibits.

NJHOF President, Steve Edwards said the 10,000 square foot ELC’s permanent home is at the American Dream in East Rutherford.

The NJHOF has existed for 20 years with annual ceremonies celebrating big stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Gloria Gaynor, and Danny DeVito, as well as highlighting the contributions and achievements of everyday New Jersey citizens, Edwards said.

“But the ultimate dream was always to create a permanent home, to have an entertainment learning center to bring pride to New Jerseyans, but also to inspire our children, and inspire adults of all ages with all the heroes that we have to offer,” Edwards said.

Holographic Karaoke Stage at NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center, American Dream (NJHOF)
Holographic Karaoke Stage at NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center, American Dream (NJHOF)
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The Exhibits

The plan is to also provide patrons with wisdom in one exhibit by watching biographic vignettes. But Edwards said the coolest thing is a late-night Jersey television studio.

“We’ve got about 50 holograms of various inductees where our patrons can be the late-night hosts, sit across from them, and ask Danny DeVito how do I reach the pinnacle of the entertainment industry, or ask Ray Chambers how can I be a charitable activist like you are,” Edwards explained.

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The patrons will get real answers from these holograms, and they get to keep the interview.

The Karaoke Hologram Stage is another unique exhibit that Edwards hopes will attract people. That’s where visitors can get up on stage and sing alongside holograms of their favorite singers like Frankie Valli, Gloria Gaynor, Wyclef Jean, Tony Orlando, and more.

The performance will be filmed and it will look like you’re on the stage singing a duet with these celebrities.

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There is also an exhibit featuring rare artifacts. For example, there is a Model T on display in a glass-enclosed case, which Henry Ford gifted to Thomas Edison in 1916, Edwards said. It’s the same Model T that the two of them would get into for road trips and talk about the issues of the day and their inventions, Edwards explained.

NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
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Next to the Model T exhibit is a 4-D flight simulation experience called “Fly Me to the Moon.”

“You take off into outer space, land on the moon, and witness Buzz Aldrin (a Hall of Fame inductee) and Neil Armstrong being on the moon in 1969. You then take off to the International Space Station where the Kelly brothers are there to greet you (both inductees from West Orange), and then you come back to planet Earth, come through the atmosphere with the feeling of two G’s of force and you land on the Jersey Shore, of course,” Edwards said.

Then there is a surprise ending with music and another Jersey Strong-type of message, he added.

Another exhibit is The Jersey Proud Movie Theater. This is a 10-minute film that just screams “New Jersey” filled with the grit that will make residents proud, Edwards said.

“I think we’ll look at that 10-minute film and say, “Who knew?” We always bashed New Jersey, but wow, they’ve exported more greatness than maybe any state in the United States,” Edwards said.

NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
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Another Cool Aspect

The programming will be centered around Hall of Fame inductees’ birthdays, Edwards said. For example, September 7 is singer Gloria Gaynor’s birthday, and from now on Sept. 7 will be “Gloria Gaynor Day” in New Jersey.

He said she will hopefully come to the ELC this September, and he hopes to have 30 to 40 inductees come to the center every year where visitors can meet them, sign autographs, and more.

“It’s a chance for all New Jerseyans to come and cheer many of their legends who brought so much pride to their state,” Edwards said.

NJHOF "Fly Me to the Moon" simulated space ride at the Entertainment and Learning Center, American Dream (NJHOF)
NJHOF "Fly Me to the Moon" simulated space ride at the Entertainment and Learning Center, American Dream (NJHOF)
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Why the American Dream?

Edwards said it was a no-brainer to have the first-ever New Jersey Hall of Fame entertainment and learning center at American Dream because they have tremendous foot traffic. While a mobile NJHOF museum was created in 2012 and has been a success, Edwards said he wanted a more permanent home, so that was going to take time.

Then, the American Dream happened and now was the perfect time to unveil it.

New Jersey is one of only four states in the U.S. to have a Hall of Fame, Edwards said. The other three are in California, South Dakota, and South Carolina.

“I’m hoping New Jerseyans, when they walk through, and experience this thing, take a lot of pride in the fact that once again, another Jersey first like we’re known for, that we’ve done something nice like this,” Edwards said.

NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
NJHOF Entertainment and Learning Center at American Dream, East Rutherford (NJHOF)
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This Year’s Induction Ceremony

Every year, the New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held in person, usually at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark.

However, this year, the inductees will be announced in July, and instead of an in-person ceremony, it will be a television broadcast taping at the ELC at American Dream, Edwards said.

Actor Danny DeVito is already on board to emcee the event, he confirmed.

More information will be announced at a later date.

The American Dream in East Rutherford (American Dream)
The American Dream in East Rutherford (American Dream)
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Ribbon Cutting

On Tuesday, June 18, New Jersey dignitaries like Gov. Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy, and Tommy James, musician and inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame were on hand for the New Jersey Hall of Fame ELC’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

However, the center is not expected to open to the public until late June or early July, Edwards said.

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