Celebrating the Grand Opening of the New Lobero Theatre, August 4, 1924
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”The Heritage Campaign is our community’s way to ensure the dream is truly captured and will always remain for future generations to enjoy.
In 1924, Miss Sarah Redington reviewed the opening of the New Lobero Theatre designed by George Washingon Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs and spoke for the whole town, no doubt, when she said, “The building is a captured dream.”
She continued describing the opening event, an original play entitled Beggar on Horseback, “It is a delicious bit of self-expression. It is a study in Americanism, a sermon. It is a triumphant bit of fun-making. And above all, it is a dream.”
The new Lobero Theatre was the work of the Community Arts Association. When they went to the community, everyone was approached for a contribution and everyone gave what they could. Only two persons gave over $1,000 dollars. It was indeed a community effort raising $180,000 for the building of our current Lobero Theatre.
As one of the committee members said, “We are proud of the new Lobero and Santa Barbara should be proud of it too. The city now has one of the finest community playhouses in the country and its completion is an achievement made possible only through the cooperation and help of all kinds. It is truly a community center and this fact must be kept uppermost if the institution’s real ideals are to be carried out.”
The Lobero continues to stand as that community center first envisioned by founder Jose Lobero. Although the theater is a reality, the continued dream is the force that gives life to what awaits us tomorrow.