In 2018 Brooke Lea Foster of The New York Times stated that it was one of several “least suburban of suburbs, each one celebrated by buyers there for its culture and hip factor, as much as the housing stock and sophisticated post-city life.”
Montclair hosts many art institutions and theaters, and despite its relatively small size, has many art venues. It has its own art museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and several small galleries.
Montclair also hosts one cinema, the Clairidge Cinema on Bloomfield Avenue which shows different types of movies from documentaries to small scale indie films. The township hosted its first annual film festival in 2012 to provide a platform for filmmakers from New Jersey, the US and the world.
Live theaters include The Montclair Operetta Company, the Wellmont Theatre, Montclair State University‘s Kasser Theater, Montclair State University’s theater in Life Hall, and the Studio Playhouse. On Bloomfield Avenue there is a public stage used for concerts and other events. Dotted around Montclair there are also many art galleries, though most are centered in the Bloomfield Avenue Downtown Area. Concerts are held at the Wellmont Theatre and at several churches and auditoriums sponsored by Outpost in the Burbs, a community-based organization. In 2017, The Montclair Orchestra was formed as a semi-professional orchestra, composed of both professionals and students from top colleges.
Montclair was the setting for some of the stories in the HBO television series The Sopranos, and many Montclair streets, locations and businesses were featured in the show, such as Bloomfield Avenue.
Montclair Public Library is one of the oldest public libraries in New Jersey, with the largest collection of materials in northern New Jersey. Its Director is Peter Coyl.