The PNC Bank Arts Center is a modern amphitheatre located in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, USA. About 17,500 people can occupy the amphitheater; there are 7,000 seats and the grass area can hold about 10,500 people. Concerts are from May through September featuring 35–45 different events of many types of musical styles. It is ranked among the top five most successful amphitheatres in the country. It is one of two major outdoor arenas in the New York City Metropolitan Area, along with Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Like the Nikon theater, the PNC Bank Arts Center is managed by Live Nation.
The amphitheatre was originally called the Garden State Arts Center. The 1954 legislation that created the Garden State Parkway (at whose Exit 116 the Arts Center is located) also called for recreational facilities along the Parkway's route, and in 1964 Holmdel's Telegraph Hill was chosen as the site for "a cultural and recreational center ... that would be developed as a center for music and the performing arts." The amphitheatre was designed by noted modernist architect Edward Durell Stone and featured open sides covered by a 200-foot (61 m), saucer-like roof supported by eight large concrete pillars. It featured seating for 5,000 people with space for about 5,000 more on the lawn area outside the roof. The facility is most easily accessible from the Parkway.
The Garden State Arts Center first opened on June 12, 1968, with a program featuring pianist Van Cliburn, conductor Eugene Ormandy, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Arts Center was operated in conjunction with the New Jersey Highway Authority, which also ran the Parkway. On June 25 and 26, 1968, Judy Garland performed at this facility.