In order to earn this certification, the Lobero went through a thorough review and implemented solutions to improve efficiency in electricity, water use, as well as a sustainable transportation plan for staff members. All of these improvements were introduced in a way that was compatible with our historic aesthetic and corporate culture.
We’ve been working on reducing our carbon footprint for several years. In 2011 the Lobero became the first theatrical business to join the City of Santa Barbara’s Recycling and Composting Programs. Then, 2013’s Encore: Lobero renovations brought in eco-friendly updates including: low-flow toilets, drought tolerant landscaping and energy-efficient electrical systems throughout. Last year, thanks to House Manager Daniel Ramirez, we ramped up efforts to reduce electricity and water use–which included changing hundreds of light bulbs, updating any remaining antique plumbing fixtures, implementing an Employee Transportation Plan–we even changed to eco-friendly cleaning products!
“We view efforts to reduce our carbon footprint as not only our social responsibility, but also as a way to decrease long term operational costs and increase the viability and comfort of the building. It’s good for everyone.” – David Asbell, Executive Director
The Lobero is conscious of its lasting presence in the Santa Barbara community, and views adapting sustainable practices as a practical and advantageous way to ensure the vitality of the theatre long into the future.
The Lobero Theatre: Newly Refurbished, bolder sound and history in between
Guest post by Emily Solomon
Whether you’re a native Santa Barbarian or you haven’t been in this beautiful paradise for very long, it’s likely you have seen at least one show at the Lobero Theatre. It’s hard not to get addicted to the intimate atmosphere the theater provides, bringing anyone who crosses its path that much closer to the magic of live entertainment. After 140 years of award-winning performances, the recent “Encore: Lobero” preservation work of the Lobero Theatre has proved that the music truly still lives on in this historic landmark.
“Fantastic restoration of the theater. Thanks so much for preserving history for all to enjoy.”
In 2013, with the compassion and desire of board members and generous contributions from the Santa Barbara community, the renewal of the Lobero Theatre was ready to begin. This construction project was no small task. Because the theater has been around since 1873, it’s a historical landmark. The Foundation design team worked diligently with the Historic Landmarks Commission, historians and archivists to ensure that the changes to the Lobero Theatre would keep with the architectural integrity of the original theater. The Lobero Theatre was going to get a much-needed facelift with the following end goals: new seats, ceiling preservation work, interior painting, improved air flow, expanded restrooms and ADA compliance upgrades throughout.
“The Lobero is one of Santa Barbara’s crown jewels! I wanted to cry when I first saw what you have done for this beloved venue! Excellent work you guys!”
Today, every patron that walks through the beautiful Lobero Theatre is able to enjoy new, comfortable seats, a heating and air conditioning system that have improved airflow within the theater immensely. Restrooms have also been enlarged to meet today’s accessibility requirements. The theater is now equipped with eight wheelchair spaces and areas for companion seating. For hearing impaired patrons, the auditorium is now wired with Hearing Loop technology, allowing patrons wearing hearing aids to adjust their devices to amplify the sound to their comfort.
“Your new seats are sooo comfy!”
This is truly what makes supporters of the Lobero so special. No matter what walk of life you are, we all have the right to hear and appreciate the art of live performance. The Santa Barbara community understands that through and through.
The outside of the building has also undergone necessary changes too. The walkway to the main entry is now equipped with a compliant ramp and level landings at the top and bottom. The area where many people enjoy mingling on before and after shows, was redone to create a level area for patrons to gather safely. The Paseo at the side of the theater was re-paved with brick and a new ramp leading to the Green Room stairs,a nd side steps have been put in place to meet code.
“Beautiful historic feel, love the attention to detail.”
If you haven’t gotten the chance to experience the new and improved theater, there are some huge acts to check out. See for yourself why the Lobero Theatre is where the fantasy world of music lovers comes to life.
Read more audience comments:
“I love the Lobero. Wonderful facelift. Every time I am here, I feel the spirits. The place just resonates with wonderful energy.”
The Lobero is the perfect size. Not too big, not too small. Perfect for a Tierney Sutton concert!!
Great remodel, especially the ‘loos!
I used to dance on the Lobero stage as a young girl. Fond memories and still my favorite theatre.
My family appreciates the theatre donating tickets to senior living facilities; my dad is able to participate in that.
Still the best musical venue in Santa Barbara.
You do a wonderful job of enriching my life and the lives in our community.
My first visit, but it’s beautiful! I love the seats and ceiling!
Just the right size venue. Every seat is a good seat. Beautiful interior, comfortable new seats and newly enlarged men’s restroom. Small town location and ‘feel.’
While the mission may be our Queen, the Lobero is definitely our Princess. So proud of our town and how the Lobero is this beautiful jewel in our crown.
How wonderful to see that the Lobero is still the fantastic, vibrant venue I remember! Kudos to all involved in preserving and enhancing of this fabulous theatre.
I moved here from Chicago a year and a half ago. I have seen amazing dance, music and films here. Thank you for all the wonderful events that help make me feel a part of the community.
Emily Solomon, Go-Content
Author Bio: Emily Solomon is no stranger to the Lobero Theatre. She recalls dancing in the theater during her early teenage years. While she spends most of her time writing content for local Santa Barbara businesses and for online publications, she always manages to escape to her favorite music venue to hear her favorite tunes and discover new artists to love. Emily is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Writing and Publishing. She currently runs an online content business called, Go-Content. Contact her at email@example.com
UPDATE: October is National Disability Month, and this year’s theme is just that: Expect, Employ, Empower. Read more about the Award Ceremony and meet the day’s winners, here.
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, left, with Mayor’s Award recipients Thomas Kaufmann of Otojoy; Mary Tremel of DuPont and David Asbell of the Lobero Theatre. (Mayor’s Organizing Committee photo)
The Lobero Theatre has won a Design & Accessibility award from the Mayor’s office in honor of the work undertaken to improve the theatre’s access to patrons with disabilities, including the installation of hearing loop technology, creating an accessible path of travel with a level gathering space, enlarging and improving the restrooms, the installation of a wheelchair lift to the stage and the new seat map with eight wheelchair spaces in a variety of locations.
The Mayor’s office states, “The Design/Accessibility Award will be presented to a person or entity that has developed innovative and creative solutions for accessible structures, buildings or services, or provided accommodations to create equal and aesthetic access. This year’s award goes to the Lobero Theatre, for their two-and-a-half-year renovation to improve their accessibility. Executive Director David Asbell will accept the award.”
On behalf of the Lobero Theatre Foundation, I can say that we are thrilled to be a community resource that is welcoming and accessible to all of our patrons. This is a very rewarding accolade and one that means a great deal to us.
“Hearing loop user Jim Glass had this to say, “I just wanted to reiterate how terrific the hearing loop installation is at the Lobero…All of a sudden, when David [Crosby] hit the first note, I literally couldn’t believe my ears! I heard the pick against the guitar strings, his swallowing before the next verse – the depth of the sound was truly overwhelming.”
Lobero Theatre Foundation Board President Jeff DeVine commented, “The Lobero owes a debt of gratitude to so many: to our very generous patrons and the people who faithfully attend Lobero shows; and to our staff and Board of Directors who serve with compassion and an inspiring sense of responsibility; our tireless Campaign Chair Jim Morouse; and also to the experts who helped us preserve historic and architectural integrity while enhancing performance and audience comfort aspects so the theater remains viable. We extend our heartfelt thanks.”
You can learn more about Hearing Loop here, but the best way to experience the upgrades to the theatre is to come and see a show.
28 locations in the area offering this new technology
The Lobero Theatre and the New Victoria Theatre (New Vic) have recently joined the growing ranks of local venues to adopt state-of-the-art hearing loop technology, including Campbell Hall at UCSB, the University Club of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Mary Craig Auditorium and the Ojai Playhouse. For a full list of looped venues, visit www.loopsantabarbara.org.
In May of last year, “Let’s Loop Santa Barbara” set out to turn Santa Barbara into one of the most hearing accessible cities in California. A year later, there are 28 places offering hearing loop technology across our region. Because of this important movement, individuals with hearing loss are obtaining equal access through the usage of hearing loop technology.
Already widely used in Europe and Scandinavia, hearing loops are rapidly gaining popularity across the US, thanks to advocacy campaigns like “Let’s Loop Santa Barbara” brought to the community by the Independent Living Resource Center. The technology lets hearing aid users receive sound signals directly through their t-coil enabled hearing aids. As most hearing aids include a t-coil as standard, users do not need any additional equipment to access sound in a looped venue – a major advantage over other systems.
The hearing loop installation at the Lobero Theatre has been entirely funded by Jack and Kathleen Moseley, contributors to the Encore: Lobero capital campaign. Speaking about his donation, Mr. Moseley said, “I am just pleased that more hard-of-hearing people can enjoy the theatre.”
Read more about the Lobero’s recent Encore: Lobero upgrades to improve accessibility here.
Hot Guitars… a Chilly First Thursday… and a Cool Historic Theatre District.
It’s been one week since the Lobero re-opened its doors after completion of the Encore: Lobero preservation work — and it’s been a killer first week back. On Wednesday night, Dec. 4, Warren Miller Films kicked things off with Ticket to Ride, the newest installment of adreneline-fueled ski ventures across the globe to a packed house.
Then on Thursday night, the Lobero Theatre Foundation opened up the new Esplanade from 7:30-9:30 pm for 1st Thursday: After Hours. This the first of six events hosted by the newly formed Historic Theatre District. Below is a gallery of brave folks who ventured out on a chilly evening for this fun event which included magic by Mark Collier, noshes from Sojourner Cafe, and beer from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. Congratulations go out to 1st Thursday: After Hours raffle winners, Glenn & Lynda Van Patter, who can look forward to attending three stellar performances at all three theaters in the historic theatre district. (Look for more info from this partnership in the next few months.)
Then on Friday, Dec. 6, the Notes for Notes benefit concert with Jimmy Vivino & the Basic Cable Band with headliners including Slash and Alan Parsons brought down the house. It was a truly incredible evening of shredding for a most worthy cause. We’re already counting down to next year!
“We’re a working theater — We don’t take a lot of time to celebrate how cool we are, man. We just reopen and go back to work!” – Lobero Technical Director Todd Jared
If you haven’t been by yet, grab a ticket to an upcoming show!
Tonight’s going to be an excellent performance by Los Angeles rockers Dawes, who were interviewed by the Independent last week. We’ve got great holiday entertainment from the Santa Barbara Choral Society this weekend and Santa Barbara Revels next weekend. Otherwise, you’re invited to come check out the new space during the Lobero’s Holiday Open House from 5-7 p.m. on December 17.
Read more from the news & interwebs, and check out a few photos below. Cheers!
In testament to the Lobero Theatre Foundation’s continued efforts to present quality jazz and American roots performances in a cherished historic setting, the Lobero Theatre is recognized in 2011 as one of the Best Places to See Jazz by DownBeat Magazine, the pre-eminent publication of the jazz and roots genre for the last 76 years
The Foundation launches its Endowment for Excellence in 2006 in four areas: Dance, American Roots Music, Theatre and Classical Music. Proceeds from the endowment will ensure that the world’s finest performers continue to appear on the Lobero stage.
In 2003, Churchill’s Jewelry store owner Dick Kern discovered an old trombone in the attic of his building, once a music store. Instrument expert Nick Rail confirms that it may have belonged to Jose Lobero. It is placed on view in the Lobero Theatre lobby.
Courtyard Fund was kicked off in February 2001. Over the next two years, the Lobero Associates raised more than $265,000 for the beautification of the back patio. Construction began mid-March and was completed on time and on budget on June 28, 2003. The patio is now used for receptions, dinners and special events.
In 2000, the Lobero Theatre Foundation embarked on an ambitious plan to renovate the most fundamental aspects of any theatre’s infrastructure: the lighting, rigging and sound systems. The stage renovation is completed on-budget and in plenty of time for a return visit by Baryshnikov for five sold-out performances in May 2002.
The state-mandated seismic renovation of the Lobero Theatre began in 1993 and took more than four years to complete. Over 4,600 gifts from the community were received to reach the $3 million goal for the project.
On August 4, 1924, today’s Lobero opened its doors with a gala production of Beggar on Horseback. Santa Barbara celebrated the opening with the inaugural Fiesta which was the predecessor of today’s Fiesta and Old Spanish Days.
In 1922 the Community Arts Association purchased the old Lobero, which had fallen into disrepair, and turned to the community for the support to build a new theatre. Over $180,000 was raised in less than a month, and plans for a new theatre, designed by George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs, began.
On Washington’s Birthday 1873, Jose Lobero (born “Giuseppe” in Genoa, Italy) opened California’s only opera house south of San Francisco on the site of an old wooden schoolhouse at Canon Perdido and Anacapa streets. It featured a suspended horseshoe balcony and could seat 1,300. At the time of its opening, the Lobero was the largest adobe building in California and soon established itself as the cultural heart of Santa Barbara.