While this 8 acre property on White Horse Pike has had a historic mansion on it since 1855, the building we’re interested in is the right behind it. Known formally as The Excelsior Scottish Rite Temple, this 5 story yellow brick building was built in 1930 when the Scottish Rite Freemasons purchased the land. It is now leased to the borough of Collingswood and is open to all for public performances, including over twenty live music concerts a year, community theater and holiday dance presentations.
The Auditorium is accessed via the large free parking lot on the side of the property. Make your way to the second floor via the side entrance door decorated with ornate stained glass under an arch carved with Masonic icons. You will suddenly find yourself in a stately tiled lobby, where drinks and snacks are affordable (but not allowed in the auditorium).
Passing through the heavy wooden doors into the giant performance space, you will be surprised to find yourself emerging right in front of the stage! Above you is an ornate coffered ceiling with lit medallion and the walls on either side showcase 16’ decorative stained glass windows from Italy. Considered one of the largest auditoriums in South Jersey, the 1000+ seats curve around creating perfect sightlines and “near-perfect” acoustics.
The Scottish Rite Auditorium is one of those “if you didn’t know to look for it you wouldn’t know it is there” places, but once you go you’ll know why this hidden place is worth the visit.
Mod Betty Says:
The lower level of the building is the Collingswood Grand Ballroom (rented out for private events)
Don’t forget to take time to notice all of the Masonic imagery hidden within the decorative designs!
The double-headed eagle above the auditorium entrance is a Masonic sign of judicial balance