• Don Lichterman

Explore NJ's booming entertainment industry, restored tax credits & Explore New Jersey Film & TV!

New Jersey’s film and television production tax credit has officially returned.

Gov. Phil Murphy vowed to restore the tax incentive.

At a Montclair Film forum in Montclair, N.J., the state’s Motion Picture and Television Commission associate director, David W. Schoner confirmed that the governor had fulfilled his promise. New Jersey’s television production tax incentive was signed into law on July 3 for the fiscal year 2019.

On Monday, Schoner was at Montclair Film’s Cinema 505, the organization’s home base, to discuss the credit’s updated terms and conditions with various New Jersey and New York film and television production workers.

According to Schoner, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved a program that credits of $75 million per fiscal year to film and television projects. There is a $10 million yearly cap per project/series.

“The thought process was we didn’t want ‘Batman 57’ coming in and using up $65 million in a year,” Schoner said of the cap. “Instead, you could have possibly seven television series using seven different crews and seven different vendors all at one time compared to having one big show or movie taking up all of the money.”

In 2005, the Garden State created a $10 million dollar tax credit offering at 20% to boost film production throughout New Jersey. But in 2010, Christie suspended the incentive due to his dislike of the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.” While “Jersey Shore” didn’t necessarily place the state in the best light, Tax Credits Intl.’s Christine Peluso said in 2014 that the series provided an undeniable economic boost: Parking meter fee collection in the show’s Seaside Heights setting jumped from $807,000 in 2007 to $1.3 million in 2010. In addition, Peluso noted the reality show’s crew and fans helped the local economy with the purchase of hotel rooms, car rentals, catering, hardware, dry cleaning, rental fees and permit fees, among other expenses.

A 2016 bill titled the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act attempted to reauthorize and revise the state’s expired film tax credit programs. The measure, approved by legislators from both parties, proposed an increase of the annual program cap from $10 million to $50 million. Christie vetoed the bill.

Under the new credit production companies may be eligible to receive a fully refundable credit of 30%, as opposed to the previous incentive’s 20%, of qualified production costs and post-production costs incurred in New Jersey.

In seven southern counties including Atlantic, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem the fully refundable credit will be 35%.

“The philosophy was if you offer a little more it would incentivize filmmakers to go to a part of the state that they typically don’t go to,” Schoner explained.

An additional 2% will be given if the crew meets diversity standards, which the state’s Economic Development Authority is still establishing. Above the line costs are included, but the salaries of highly compensated individuals are capped at $500,000 per person.

Schoner called the new program “radically different” from the previous program.

In addition to increasing the incentives yearly cap from $10 million to $75 million, one other major difference is that a project or series’ principal photography must start approximately within 180 days of the original date of application or within 150 days of approval of application.

“One of the issues under the previous program was once you (got approved) and put your film in the queue you might not make that film for three years and those funds were therefore tied up” Schoner said. “So it was decided that if you apply you have to start within a certain time period. If you don’t start within a certain time you automatically take out of the queue.”

Schoner assured the crowd that neither Murphy nor his staff would be judging projects that are made under the new incentive.

“We are not arbiters of taste,” Schoner said. “We are just (determining) if the project is complete so they can receive the tax credit.”

Under the new incentive, “Jersey Shore” and reality shows like it will not qualify for funds. To be eligible, a reality show’s production company must own or lease a New Jersey-based production facility of at least 20,000 square feet for a minimum of 24 months and invest at least $3 million in the facility, which must be located in a designated urban enterprise zone.

In order to qualify for the new incentive, a production company must spend 60% of their total budget in New Jersey (not including post-production costs) or a minimum of $1 million. In addition, projects must exceed 22 minutes in length and be intended for national or international distribution.

News shows, current events programming, weather and market reports, talk shows, sporting events and corporate/sales films will not be eligible for the credit.

Schoner was adamant that Jersey’s film and television tax credit is not competing with New York’s $420 million film incentive.

“We are not competing with New York, California or Georgia,” he said. “We are our own state. We aren’t stealing business from any other state. Productions are coming here that are original and didn’t emigrate from any place else.”

Applications, which are currently unavailable, will be considered on a first come, first serve basis. - Addie Morfoot

"Joker," the newest addition to the Batman franchise, has footage shot throughout New Jersey:

Top Dance and Night Clubs in New Jersey.

Dance and night clubs with live bands, DJ's, and entertainment

Northern New Jersey Dance and Night Clubs

46 Lounge 300 Route 46 East Totowa, NJ 07512 Website

The music is Top 40, Hip Hop, Club, Mash-Ups and House. Hot Miami nights comes to 46 Lounge Wednesday through Saturday 7pm till 3am. A -chic lounge with a trendy contemporary ambiance and a Brazilian cherry dance floor, 3 Martini & Wine Bars and a Tropical Outdoor Patio with 2 Tiki Bars.

The Dome Rooftop Bar & Lounge at The Manor 111 Prospect Avenue West Orange, NJ 07052 973.731.2360 Website

An upscale after-hours night club experience.with Old School & New School Dance Tracks. Set above the Manor Restaurant in an all glass enclosed domed rooftop lounge where you can see the stars overhead and dance floor at your feet. Attractive setting with a jade marble bar and tabletops, deep mahogany pillars, and retro leather lounge chairs with a speakeasy swagger from yesteryear

DJ Performances every Friday & Saturday. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. DJ performances from 9:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Bar Menu available from 6:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Mandala 246 3rd St Passaic, NJ 07055 (973) 777-2077 Website

A night club that connects with different types of crowds. Depending on the night, the different themes serves different crowds. They feature Latino music nights on Fridays and Saturdays, with gay nights on Thursdays and Sundays. Their DJ is present every night and entertains with the hottest music to go along with whatever theme or event they have.

QXT's 248 Mulberry Street Newark, NJ (973) 643-3996 Website

New Jersey's longest running alternative dance club. QXT's has given fans of alternative music a place to spend their Friday and Saturday nights, with each night offering a variety of musical genres including Alternative, EDM, New Wave, 80s, 90s, Industrial, Dark Wave, Goth,Punk and Rock. Besides the main dance floor, there are two additional rooms which have been dubbed Area 51 and The Crypt, each with its own bar, diverse musical flare, and a variety of characters and personalities.

Rise Night Club 1 S Main St Lodi, NJ (973) 778-4433 Website The music is Techno, Latin, Tribal, Mashups, Classics, Hip Hop, Top 40. Open Fridays and Saturdays with special Exclusive Latin Fridays and Rise Saturdays

Central New Jersey Dance and Night Clubs

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten 527 Lake Ave Asbury Park, NJ Website

Enjoy live music, dancing, good food, and beer with European Birgaten ambiance. The venue features a 9,000 square foot outdoor rooftop Biergarten and a 6,000 square foot indoor hall with over 31 premium draft beers and over 60 in the bottle, including American craft selections. Join in at a communal table where friends and strangers mingle and fet energized by a regular schedule of live music.

Avenue Nuit Night Club 23 Ocean Avenue Long Branch 732-759-2900 Website

The Northern Jersey Shore's most upscale, chic night club. In the summer you can celebrate under the stars at the rooftop lounge with an outdoor pool, fireplace and top rated DJق€™s. Year round, their indoor lounge provides oversized bed seating, VIP tables, a vibrant bar and dance floor.

Bar A 703-5 16th Ave Lake Como, NJ (732) 681-7422 Website

This huge indoor-outdoor facility with top entertainers continues to deliver an incredible entertainment, eating, and drinking experience year after year. Open year-round, Bar A' s multifaceted indoors, and tropical themed outdoors, has something for everyone.

Club Karma 401 Boulevard Seaside Heights, NJ Website

A summer seasonal Night Club, opens Memorial Day. An upscale outdoor club with lots of energy, dancing, VIP tables, and top DJ's!

D' Jais at Belmar 1801 Ocean Avenue Belmar, NJ 07719 732-681-5055 Website

D'Jais is well known for it's diverse atmosphere in which different music can be heard seven nights a week. With sounds ranging from live classic rock & roll, reggae bands and the Tri-State's best DJق€™s Spinning the latest dance & club. Plus Special events by top billboard artists & Celebrity guest appearances.

Headliner 1401 State Route 35 S Neptune, NJ 07753 732-775-6200 Website

Non stop entertainment at one of the largest clubs in the Jersey shore, and a wonderful staff,and a Martini Bar that will rock your world!

Jenks Night Club 300 Ocean Avenue Point Pleasant Beach (732) 899-0589 Website

Open year round. Located on the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk overlooking the ocean, Jenks is a favorite for night life lovers in search of quality bands, a big dance floor, and a friendly crowd. They have several large bars well placed around the dance floor.

Perle Night Club and Lounge 13 Paterson St New Brunswick, NJ 732-261-4044 Website

An upscale nightclub & lounge with DJ & live music

Porta 911 Kingsley Street Asbury Park (732) 776-7661 Website

Porta is a popular Neapolitan pizza restaurant and dance club that becomes an energetic night club with dancing after 9pm. Music covers a varity of genres played by the areas top DJ's. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is dancing in the Abbott Room, off the main dining area, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and in the main dining area after 11 p.m.

During the summer months there is live music in the outdoor area on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Stone Pony 913 Ocean Avenue Asbury Park, NJ 07712 732-502-0600 Website

The Wonder Bar 5th and Ocean Asbury Park, NJ 732-502-8886 Website

A Blues, Rock, and Roots Music venue with a great history. Many of the performers who have appeared at the Stony Pony also have received their start here. "Tillie's Landing" outside deck and bar is a huge draw during the summer months and combined with the indoor venue they have a capacity to hold 2,000 patrons.

Southern New Jersey Dance and Night Clubs

Boogie Nights Tropican Hotel & Casino 2831 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (800) 843-8767 Website

Features a lighted dance floor around a huge disco ball with the 70's and 80's theme every Friday and Saturday night, and the 90s Night every Thursday, playing all 90s all night! Enjoy the Boogie Nights characters like Mr. Boogie, Roller Girl, Hula Hoop Girl, and Celebrity Impersonators>open s @ Thursday 10 PM and Friday & Saturday 9 PM

Premier Nightclub 1 Borgata Way Atlantic City, NJ Website

An upscale night club featuring an 18,000-square-foot venue with tiered booths focused on the DJ booth, stage, and digital proscenium. Also has a horseshoe-shaped mezzanine for awesome views of the ornate, yet modern energetic scene.

The Pool After Dark Harrah's Hotel & Casino 777 Harrah's Blvd Atlantic City, NJ 08401 609-441-5000 Website

An entertainment complex with a pool and a night club. Join in to dance the night away listening to live entertainment with top DJs and performers.   Once inside, hit up the bar for a drink and make your way to the dance floor to immerse yourself in the sounds of today's top 40, hip-hop & EDM beside the city's most captivating dancers. Take in the atmosphere as the hottest stars in the industry perform live from the new, elevated stage & DJ area, enhanced with eye-catching graphic displays on massive LED walls. Open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night.


Due to its close proximity to NYC, New Jersey comedy venues and shows attract top talent who also perform in NYC, or have chosen to live nearby in NJ.

While Comedy venues have not seen a return to their peak days in the eighties, many have been closed because poor business practices and the venues that have survived are well financed and able to attract headliners.

While there has been a substantial paring down of clubs in line with the supply of headliners, today the successful New Jersey comedy venues are well financed and cover the costs of headliners with cover charges.

At one point there were many more New Jersey comedy venues than headliners, and in order to survive, some clubs decided to start headlining people who weren't headliners and that had 50 minutes of time killing material. The audiences were quick to experience this tactic and quit coming to these clubs.

Many of these venues turned to alternative ways of filling their clubs by letting people in for free and making their money off the drinks.

Northern New Jersey Comedy Clubs

Bananas Comedy Club at the Holiday Inn 283 Route 17 South Hasbrouck Heights Website Open since 1988 features performances by up-and-coming and national comedians. Prices are higher for special shows/attractions. They offer a Dinner Package at Verbena Restaurant. Dinner is served 2 hours before Show time Dinner Package guests get priority reserved, up front seating for the show. Finger food is available in the club. Overnight packages featuring dinner, the show, and room are also available. Plenty of free parking

The Comedy Cove @ Scotty's 595 Morris Ave Springfield, NJ Website The Comedy Cove line-up features some of the top comics, many of whom have appeared on network and cable TV programs. Most shows are on Friday & Saturdays at 9 pm. Dinner & Show Packages are available.

'The Comedy Shoppe At multiple New Jersey Locations Website They feature the areas top comedians with open mic nights, special shows and fund-raisers.

Central New Jersey Comedy Clubs

Garden State Comedy Club Flemington-Raritan Diner 324 State Rt 31 Flemington, NJ Website They have scheduled comedy shows, open MIC nights and Improv for stand up comedy.

Stress Factory 90 Church Street New Brunswick, NJ Website Located a few blocks from Rutgers University, features national acts as well as up and coming performers. Vinnie Brand, your host for the evening, is sure to make an appearance and crack a few jokes as well. Food and drinks are available as well as dinner/show packages.

Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club 520 Arnold Ave. Point Pleasant, NJ Website Now one of the popular comedy clubs in Ocean County, Uncle Vinnie's is owned by 2 brothers from Belleville, NJ, They feature the areas top comedians with open Mic nights, special shows and fund-raisers.

Southern New Jersey Comedy Clubs

Atlantic City Comedy Club Tropicana Casino and Resort 2831 Boardwalk, 3rd Fl Atlantic City, NJ Website They feature some of the country's top headliners and rising stars. Located in the Kiss Kiss Nightclub in the Tropicana, comics come from NYC, Philly and all over the country to perform.

Borgata Comedy Club Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa One Borgata Way Atlantic City, NJ Website Features renowned comics – some famous, some soon-to-be. And all up-close and personal

Howie Mandel's Comedy Club Hard Rock Casino 1000 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ Website Opened in the summer of 2018, this new comedy venue is off to a successful start as one of the hottest Comedy Club's in Atlantic City with top performers every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday nights.

MORE TO EXPLORE THIS FALL IN NEW JERSEY: September is here and with it, the arrival of fall fairs and festivals. New Jersey offers lots of great events this month, with everything from food festivals to live music and more! We’ve rounded up the top events to attend this month. Read on for the scoop on all these awesome activities and mark your calendar now.

Best Fall Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families in September

Top Ten Seasonal Attractions, Events, Day Trips, Weekend Getaways, and Vacations

Explore New Jersey Film & TV

Universal Television, Al Pacino, Sopranos, The Plot Against America finish filming in NJ this summer...