Encore: Lobero

A campaign to preserve and enhance the historic Lobero Theatre

The Lobero is a historic Santa Barbara and California landmark, deserving of the highest level of community stewardship, and a vibrant, active centerpiece of the local performing arts scene.

Construction took place between June 3 and November 30, 2013, at a cost of $7,000,000. The project included changes to the interior, including wider seating with increased legroom; improved acoustics and lighting; expanded restroom facilities; our first-ever heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system; and compliance with the ADA code. A unique aspect of the renovation was an update to the exterior entrance (the Esplanade) to match the original 1922 plans created by George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs, which were not executed at the time due to a lack of funding.

Our over-arching goal was to preserve and enhance the historic Lobero Theatre. Our audience members expressed through surveys that they felt the theatre was looking worn and could use a “face-lift.” We agreed that preserving the aesthetics of this historic landmark and Santa Barbara icon is integral to our stewardship responsibilities. Santa Barbara is well-known for its Spanish-style architecture and for George Washington Smith’s influential design. In this respect, the Lobero Theatre is one of the city’s crown jewels and deserves the utmost care and respect.

Most of the campaign’s elements were designed to create a safer and more welcoming space for our audiences. Climate control and ventilation, improved seating and legroom, enlarged restrooms, full ADA compliance and the new Esplanade will significantly elevate the audience experience, and lead to increased audiences for all performances. This in turn supports the organizations who use the Lobero stage, creating a more vibrant performing arts community.

Interested in the ongoing preservation of the Lobero Theatre?

Because the Lobero is a busy, well-used venue, we always have capital projects that require funding. If you would like to make a physical impact on this beloved building, consider a gift to one of the following projects:

  • Digital cinema projector and screen
  • Decorative interior paint in Lobero lobby
  • New stage drapes
  • New orchestra shell
  • Repair of historic adobe wall
  • Solar panel installation
  • Or consider naming a seat in the Lobero’s Gail Towbes Auditorium for $2,500.
  • Make a gift to the Encore Lobero campaign

For more information about these and other naming opportunities, please contact Jim Dougherty, Director of Development at (805) 679-6005 or jdougherty@lobero.org.