Special Edition: Editors’ notes

Go behind the scenes with this special edition of Backstage at the Lobero

With our newest issue of Backstage at the Lobero landing in mailboxes, and digital distribution now complete, I wanted to follow up with a few personal notes about this special edition, as the editor. Starting from the cover — a striking image of the Gail Towbes Auditorium without any seats in it — to the personal stories of contractors, donors, and passionate friends who have made all this possible.

I had been hesitant to show photos of the theatre during demolition, close-ups of cobwebs and the general grimy nature of construction… I didn’t want our friends to worry about what was happening behind closed doors, but I wanted to share some of the exciting bits of renovation. (Full disclosure: I’m an avid DIY-er in my own home, and fan of all the related television series.)

As with any issue of BACKSTAGE, it’s the stories that have the most heart, and remind us why the Lobero is Santa Barbara’s favorite theatre. For example, the Lobero’s newest board member, Steve Hayes, shares a personal story about meeting legendary jazz-man Wynton Marsalis with his son. Comedian Jonathan Winters‘ memorial was held at the Lobero Theatre earlier in 2013, and many stories and photos of him and his friends at the theatre came to light. This is also the first time the Lobero LIVE has listed some of the exciting Encore Season events, so remember, you’re the first to read about them. (Stay tuned, more to come!)

The issue can be downloaded here, if you have, or create, an account. Enjoy it on your digital device, anytime.

 

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BACKSTAGE AT THE LOBERO

Behind the scenes of 
Encore: Lobero Preservation work 

Download the Full Issue

  

Don’t forget, the Lobero will re-open in December with new seats, bigger restrooms, heating and air conditioning, and improved access for all patrons as a part of Encore: Lobero. Learn more at LovetheLobero.com.

32 Bar Blues

New catalogue features Lobero’s photogenic side

There’s a new clothing company based off Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara company with an innovative catalogue, Meet 32 Bar Blues, who produces quality apparel with casual styling. They also feature music by noted artists and clever tech pieces that folks who appreciate a Marshall amp will dig.

Baby Ride With Me jacket seated in Row J

Just before closing to begin Encore: Lobero preservation work in June, 32 Bar Blues came in to shoot their products for the fall catalogue throughout the Lobero theatre.

There’s great shots of supple leather jackets slung over seats, shoes tapping on guitar pedals, and sweaters hung in the dressing rooms. Fans of the theatre will have fun pointing out all the Lobero locations used in the instagram-styled book, and jazz and blues fans will enjoy the spliced insights from John Scofield and more. Live music fans should check out  the Marshall ipod speaker and their selection of music available for sale by, wouldn’t you know it, a few Lobero LIVE alum. Best of all, proceeds on music and other arts pieces goes directly back to the artists.

The clothes and other pieces look comfortable and worn-in, unpretentious and full of deep knowledge and experience–kinda like the Lobero. The catalogue is available now by request, and we fully encourage you to learn more about 32 Bar Blues – a company committed to finding “the sweet spot where commerce and art meet.”

New Look for Lobero.com

Lobero.com receives a fresh, new, and mobile-friendly makeover

We’ve got a live sneak peek of the newly-redesigned Lobero.com up now, featuring: New Logos! New Features! New ways to get involved with the Lobero! Now Mobile-Friendly!

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We’ve taken a new approach to the logo & color scheme, which includes a nod to bright spanish tiles and the eight-pointed Andalusian star design used throughout the theatre. This new look ties in the Lobero Theatre’s classic Spanish Revival architecture and fun, vibrant spirit in a contemporary way.

And, did I mention new features?! Look for:

  • New ways to sort and find events! Search by date range, genre or artist.
  • Heard a name of an artist, but, not sure if they’re for you? Check out related events, which should put any unfamiliar names in perspective.
  • New, bigger icons make the site fun and easy to navigate on mobile devices.
  • Simplified navigation and static footer includes important links without digging.
  • Run-of-site calendar expands to a nice, wide view when opened. Another great feature to view on your iPad.
  • The new site takes advantage of interactive content, such as blog and social media feeds throughout, which will keep things fresh.
  • Take a few minutes and meet our sponsors. We receive needed support from area businesses and culinary geniuses, which means so much to us that we wanted to enhance their presence with larger logos and click-thru capabilities to learn more about them and visit their websites.
  • Connect with us. All of our content and feeds in one place, so you’ll never miss a beat.
  • New advertising opportunities are coming up for theatre clients or potential sponsors looking to advertise online. Email Angie in marketing to find out more.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be updating our calendar and adding new events. Stay tuned for the announcement of the full Lobero LIVE lineup, and more info about the Lobero’s upcoming Encore Season.

Single tickets will go on sale for all Lobero LIVE  events on November 14.

Dispatch from the Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara Bowl staff enjoy hard-hat tour

Last week the Lobero Theatre development team welcomed our friends at the Santa Barbara Bowl  for a behind-the-scenes tour. As another hardworking venue in town who have had their fair share of construction projects, they understand the task at hand.

We’d like to share a bit of a touching letter from Bowl staffer, Greg Kirchmaier, who got his start at the Lobero.

I was somewhat shocked to enter the Lobero Theatre and see it so empty. I am used to the building feeling “alive”, even when it was empty, when it was just me and the Ghostlight, as I tried to navigate my way from the box office to the green room after a long day of ticket sales.

The truth is, though the Lobero is dormant, it will awaken to be filled once again with all the music, drama, and dance that I remember from my years of working there.  The future will be like the past – thousands of audience members over the years, watching friends, family, and international touring artists up on that stage, creating memories to take with them as they leave.

I appreciate the time you and your staff took to give us a tour and update on the progress of your construction.  As another non-profit performance space that has undergone major renovation and construction, we at the Bowl understand what you are going through, and we look forward to celebrating with you in December!

Our thanks to the Santa Barbara Bowl staff for their heartfelt support. If you haven’t been to the Bowl yet this summer, they’ve still got great shows coming up.

Encore: Lobero Behind the Scenes

August’s construction gallery offers a once-in-a-lifetime view

Preservation work in August included one of the most interesting new views–up close and personal with the Lobero’s ceiling. Check out pics from on top of the 30 ft scaffolding built during this video. The ceiling’s textures are much bigger than I had anticipated, and very much in need of some touchup paint. In addition, there’s extensive ducting work above, so not only is the crew hiking 30 ft up to the ceiling, they prop smaller ladders up, and climb even higher.

Another detail to point out is a close-up of a Shakespearean drama mask; did you know those guys–both Comedy and Tragedy–are carved into the top of each pillar in the Lobero’s auditorium? They’ve been up there this whole time. A part of Encore: Lobeoro is refurbishing and highlighting clever architectural details like these. Be sure to look closely for unique touches like that once we reopen in December.

I give you, August at the Lobero’s once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint in this month’s gallery, below (… from above … you know what I mean.)

Take a piece of the Lobero home with you.

Professional musical equipment, theatrical items, auditorium seats and more are available for purchase until November 15.

Encore: Lobero preservation work is well underway, leading us to rediscover many treasures hidden in storage, which, means one thing – from now through mid-November, we’re having a garage sale.

Lobero SeatsMany items from the Lobero’s warehouse full of equipment and theatrical goods are up for sale, including a pre-1920’s steamer trunk, tour-worthy road cases, amplifiers, lighting & accessories and a handful of seats recently removed from the Lobero auditorium at prices that are ready to move. The seats come in doubles or triples, and need to find a new home by the end of November 2013 — hopefully yours!

Check out LovetheLobero.com/garage-sale for the full list of items up for sale.

PS, A purchase made through the Lobero garage sale is not considered a donation to the Encore: Lobero campaign. Those wishing to make a contribution may do so at LovetheLobero.com.

 

The Big Chill

Meet, the big crane

The Lobero is getting air conditioning for the first time in its existence. This air conditioning system is the thoughtful combination of modern engineering and historical elegance.

To wit: The Lobero Theatre was built in 1922 with no internal ducting structure whatsoever. In order to incorporate the comfort of a heating and air conditioning system into the auditorium, engineers and designers had to go deeper. In order to retain the Lobero’s historical integrity, it’s key that modernizations like this are not seen or heard. So, we called in the big guns. Experts including acousticians, HVAC professionals, architectural designers and historians were consulted to make sure the new system was integrated seamlessly, just the way George W. Smith & Lutah Maria Riggs would have liked.

As you can see, the solution was to house the big chiller on the roof of the Lobero and adjacent scene shop and add miles of ducting, much of which is underground, to reduce noise.

On August 6 a huge crane arrived at the Lobero to lift components for the new air conditioning system up onto the roof. Check out this 1 minute video snapshot of another milestone event in the Lobero Preservation Project. Video by David Bazemore.

Into the Vault

Welcome to the Lobero LIVE video archives

To borrow a phrase from our dear friend Hale Milgrim, we’re inviting you into “the vault.” Which, in this case, is the collection of Lobero LIVE videos we’ve recently uploaded to the Lobero YouTube channel. We’ve been lucky enough to chat with a few artists as they’ve performed at the Lobero, and saved those videos.

The Capitol Steps made up an original Lobero rhyme in the style of “Lirty Dies,” during one visit. There’s clips of some of the great ladies of jazz, including Shirley Horn, Tierney Sutton, and Dianne Reeves as they sing their love for the Lobero, both on- and off-stage.

Check out Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan‘s impromptu jam in the greenroom, and David Lindley strummin’ away in his dressing room. We hope you enjoy the backstage banter with all these great talents. After you’ve watched, feel free to subscribe in case we’re able to get back to adding to our collection.

Below is a clip from the late Richie Havens who said it better than anyone else, back in 2007:

We love you too Richie. Thanks for the memories.

Rise of the Scaffolding

Looking up, up, up at the Spanish Revival ceiling

The next order of business in the auditorium is to refresh the Lobero’s beautiful mosaic ceiling. 89 years of dust, grime and cigarette smoke (remember when it was acceptable to smoke in public places?) have left their mark. It’s time to show that ceiling some love.

Watch the enormous  scaffolding structure build up to 30 ft. tall over the course of five days, bringing the pros eye-to-eye with this gorgeous piece of history.

Thanks again to David Bazemore for his video skills.

Viva la Fiesta!

Lobero Staff in Parade

Lobero Theatre board and staff ride in the 2012 Fiesta Parade

It all began in 1924…

Tracing the history of the Lobero Theatre’s reopening and Old Spanish Days Fiesta

The grand opening of Santa Barbaraʼs rebuilt Lobero Theatre took place on August 4, 1924, with the play Beggar on Horseback. Nine days later, on August 13, 1924 another horse-related event took place just around the corner on State Street, soon to be known as the first official Fiesta parade. Given that these two celebrations occurred so close together, was there a connection?

Lobero Theatre Board member George Burtness worked with prominent local historians to find the answers. Read the full story here, excerpted from BACKSTAGE at the Lobero.

Keep an eye out for the team in tomorrow’s parade as well —

Fiesta is a holiday that began as a small-town family party to mark the resurrection of a cherished institution­–a theatre.” – Otis Wickenhauser, Captured Dream, A History of the Lobero Theatre