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Introducing the Perelman Performing Arts Center: Here’s How To Visit

By Hedy Phillips

February 10, 2024

Perelman Performing Arts Center

The Perelman Performing Arts Center is Lower Manhattan’s newest attraction, and if it’s not on your list of places to visit while you’re in town, it should be. Nestled in the World Trade Center campus, the PAC is a beautiful building — inside and out — that plays host to all kinds of artistic events. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about the background of the building, what you need to know about paying a visit, and what kinds of shows you might see there.

Background of the Perelman Performing Arts Center

Perelman Performing Arts Center

Photos by Iwan Baan

The Perelman Performing Arts Center — or PAC, as it’s known — opened officially in September 2023 in the World Trade Center Plaza. It brings the art and music scene to downtown. It adds another layer of liveliness to the WTC area, which the city has been developing since the original Twin Towers were destroyed. 

The PAC is right next door to the 9/11 Memorial. If you’re on our Ground Zero walking tour, you can’t miss it. This is a great intro to the building, which looks like a giant cube. You can pop in and out of the lobby before or after your tour to take in the architecture.

Architecture of the Perelman Performing Arts Center

Perelman Performing Arts Center

Located at 251 Fulton Street, the PAC was in development for over a decade. In 2015, architecture firm REX was commissioned to design the facility in collaboration with theater consultant Charcoalblue and executive architect Davis Brody Bond. 

The building is 129,000 square feet, and the facade is made of Portuguese marble, which is designed to look like it’s glowing at night. The center has three theaters:  John E. Zuccotti Theater (capacity 450), Mike Nichols Theater (capacity 250), and Doris Duke Theater (capacity 99). However, the theaters can be combined and rearranged for a maximum capacity of 950.

Perelman Performing Arts Center

The main level of the building houses the restaurant, a terrace, and the Lobby Stage. The public is welcome to enjoy this level whenever the building is open. Check their hours before stopping by.

Shows at the Perelman Performing Arts Center

There are all kinds of shows at Perelman. The facility boasts music, dance, opera, theater, and film. For opening night, the PAC hosted Broadway legend Cynthia Erivo, poet Amanda Gorman, ballet dancer Tiler Peck, The Roots’ Tarik Trotter, singer Tori Kelly, and James Taylor.

 

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The PAC also has a free space — the Lobby Stage — that’s a first-come, first-serve area where DJs and other musicians perform. Showtimes and genres vary — some are in the afternoon, some are jazz, some are folk, some are hip-hop. You never know what you’ll find.

Get tickets for the Perelman Performing Arts Center

Tickets can range from $20 to more than $150 for premium seats. Keep in mind that all the theaters inside the Perelman are small — even if the theaters are combined to make a larger theater — so every seat is a great seat!

Discounts include:

  • Responder Discount: $30 tickets for US military, police officers, firefighters and nurses
  • Educator Discount: $30 tickets for teachers with school ID
  • Student Discount: 50% off (plus fees) for full-time students with valid ID
  • Under 30 Discount: $30 tickets (plus fees) for anyone under 30 with valid ID
  • Group Discount: 10% off for groups of 10 or more, 15% off for groups of 20 or more

For all discounts, call 212-266-3000.

Dining at the Perelman Performing Arts Center

Perelman Performing Arts Center

Inside the Perelman Performing Arts Center, visitors will find Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson. The restaurant serves brunch, lunch, and dinner and is closed on Mondays and midday everyday from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

If you’re coming for a show, this is a great option to grab a bite before heading into the theater for the evening. The menu is small and changes seasonally, but you can enjoy things like oysters, prawns, and braised short rib.

What to know before you go

While you don’t have to dress up to go to a show at Perelman, we won’t talk you out of having a nice night out when you go there — especially if it’s date night!

Perelman Performing Arts Center

I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to get to the Perelman. If you can avoid it, don’t drive. The best way to get to the PAC is by the subway. There are plenty of subway options right outside the performing arts center. Or you can always take a cab or rideshare.

If you’re taking the NYC Subway:

  • 1 train to WTC Cortlandt
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z, to Fulton Street
  • E to World Trade Center
  • R, W to Cortlandt Street

If you’re taking the PATH Train from New Jersey:

  • Newark train to World Trade Center Station
  • Hoboken train to World Trade Center Station

If you’re taking the NYC bus:

  • M55 to Vesey Street and Church Street
  • M55 to Liberty Street and Church Street
  • M9 to Liberty Street and South End Avenue

If you’re driving and need to park, the closest garages are:

  • 75 West Street
  • 90 West Street
  • 73 Church Street

The Perelman also offers free-of-charge accessibility options for visitors. If you’re in need of any disability assistance for your visit, reach out ahead of time to make sure your visit will go smoothly before you arrive — they’ll be happy to help you. The accessibility team can be reached at 212-266-3010 or accessibility@pacnyc.org.

What else is in the area?

Perelman Performing Arts Center

Ahead of an evening at the PAC, you can do one of our guided tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your day on Liberty Island and Ellis Island, have dinner at Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson and then see a show. It’ll especially be easy if you’re staying at a hotel in the area.

If you’re not staying in Lower Manhattan, plan ahead. The area has lots to offer, and you’ll want enough time to eat and get ready for your show. I also suggest our unofficial Succession Tour, which is also in the area and hits several spots from the popular HBO show!

By Hedy Phillips

February 10, 2024

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