The Lobero Theatre: A Historical Shelter & Architectural Inspiration

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 emilyfaye@go-content.com

#Culture101

Santa Barbara: California’s most cultured coast.

Isn’t that a great way to sum it up? (Of course, we’re biased.)

The Lobero is proud to be part of such a fabulous and diverse group of arts organizations — performing arts, visual arts and otherwise, and we had a blast learning more about the social media efforts to promote our cultural wares taking place over at Visit Santa Barbara.

culture-in-santa-barbara-part-ii-7-400x600culture-in-santa-barbara-part-ii-6-400x600Back in April, a few fun and influential social media pros came to town to see what Santa Barbara had to offer their followers. The Lobero was chosen as one of the stops along the way for Jessica Doll, aka TeamWiking.com / @teamwiking came by the theatre for a behind-the-scenes tour of the auditorium, and got to see the stage and ghostlight in a quiet moment. (That’s a portion of one of her gorgeous photos at the top of this post.)

Afterward, we got to enjoy a tour and wine-tasting in the Presidio Neighborhood–of which, the Lobero is a member–with some of the other visiting social media pros. Wayne and Pat Dunlap have traveled extensively and run a hugely popular travel blog. (here’s their Santa Barbara post) They would make for amazing dinner guests, and their travel knowledge has been well documented. Meeting Ted Nguyen was also a treat, as this guy really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to social media, and was a lot of fun to spend an afternoon with as we sipped wine and chatted about travel and social media.

Check out the posts generated from this busy afternoon:

and even better, follow the #Culture101 hashtag on twitter; the hits keep on coming in.

It was great getting to know the folks-in-the-know when it comes to travel and social media. Thanks to Visit Santa Barbara for coordinating and for including us.

Also, if you’re not already following us in our social efforts, what are you waiting for? We’re busy posting almost every day.

Twitter FacebookYelpGoogle Plus YouTube RSS Newsletter

 

What People are Saying: Encore: Lobero Preservation work, one year later

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 emilyfaye@go-content.com

 

Holiday Wishes

The Lobero Theatre Foundation would like to wish all of our friends and fans a wonderful holiday season.

We hope you’ll join us tomorrow night, December 17, for a Holiday Open house from 5-7 p.m. Enjoy self-guided tours, refreshments, music by Vocal Point, and holiday cheer galore. Free!

If you haven’t had a chance to come by and catch a show yet, this is a great opportunity to check out the refreshed space.  Click to read our invitation

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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.

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.

The People Behind Encore: Lobero

If you’ve been down Canon Perdido Street in the past two weeks, you’ve seen that the theatre’s renovation is well under way. Here’s a quick introduction to some of the key players behind-the-scenes of the Encore: Lobero project:

Visit LovetheLobero.com for more details about the campaign, and keep coming back for more fun photos and videos of our Preservation in Progress!