Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District offers a bounty of great performing arts for fans on foot! Reaching from the Lobero to the Arlington, with the Granada and New Vic in between, there’s more than just theatres to experience; the District includes a wealth of restaurants, shops and galleries, making downtown Santa Barbara a perfect park-and-walk cultural destination almost any night of the year.
“This kind of collaboration is what Santa Barbara is all about, and the partnership established here will enhance the performing arts experience for artists, residents, and visitors throughout the year.” – Mayor Helene Schneider.
This comprehensive catalog lets you know what’s coming up at all these lovely venues, and monthly mini-brochures are on display at many of the restaurants and bars along the route, including:
In 1925, Santa Barbara experienced a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that resulted in 13 casualties and eighty-five percent of the commercial buildings in Downtown Santa Barbara were destroyed or badly damaged. One of the only buildings left untouched was the Lobero Theatre.
Inspired by the 90th anniversary of the Santa Barbara earthquake, and the wonderful exhibit now on display at the The Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Emily Solomon takes us on a trip back in time…
Residents of Santa Barbara flocked to the Lobero for shelter and safety during this time. After the earthquake, there was lots of rebuilding that had to take place. One of the most influential architects on the project was George Washington Smith, who at the time was noted one of the most popular architects in the United States. During a California trip during WWI, Smith was visiting friends in Montecito. He enjoyed Santa Barbara so much that he ended up buying property to build himself a home and studio. His architectural style for the home was inspired by farmhouses he saw on a trip to Spain in 1914.
The Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style carried into his rebuilding efforts in Downtown Santa Barbara. Before the earthquake, the city’s buildings were mainly designed in the Moorish Revival style. In the end, Santa Barbara got a complete facelift and if the earthquake didn’t happen, we wouldn’t have the beautiful Spanish style homes and businesses that line our streets today.
The Lobero Theatre’s Mediterranean look also was a major factor during the rebuilding project. Smith and the other architects wanted the buildings to have uniformity, and the fact that the Lobero already had that Spanish look, made their decision to rebuild in that specific style even easier.
It is a remarkable history, and oh what stories this stage could tell! Santa Barbara has changed dramatically in 142 years, and the Lobero has always been at the heart of it all.
June 29 marked the 90th anniversary of the Santa Barbara earthquake. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum currently has a spectacular exhibit, showcasing still photographs and videos of footage of the earthquake. To take a sneak peak before visiting the exhibit, click here.
Whenever you step into the Lobero Theatre, you feel like you’re in a space that has seen so much history and musical talent over the past 142 years. The Lobero shed a light on this, “History of a Community Stage” in the recent BACKSTAGE at the Lobero, which you can read here. This is just one more piece of history to recognize its historical importance, not just as a haven for great music fanatics, musicians, dancers and theatre enthusiasts, but also as a landmark of architectural brilliance and change.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Three of Santa Barbara’s historic theaters, The Granada Theatre, the Lobero Theatre, and the Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic, each with their own rich history, are collaborating in a new partnership to further promote our thriving performing arts scene. By working together as the Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District these three theaters are ushering in a new era of cooperative programming and access to the performing arts to Santa Barbara’s savvy patrons and presenters.
1st Thursday: After Hours heats up with spring with three more evenings in Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District hosted by the Lobero Theatre (Apr 3), the Granada Theatre (May 1) and The New Vic (Jun 5) who are offering fun new ways to access Santa Barbara’s Performing arts after dark.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements from this partnership.
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!