The performing arts culture in Santa Barbara has never been stronger and more alive than today. Three of Santa Barbara’s historic theaters, each with their own rich history of world-class performances, are collaborating in a new partnership to further promote the thriving performing arts scene in the community. The Granada Theatre, the Lobero Theatre and the Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic are pleased to announce the establishment of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District, the community’s home for the performing arts.
The establishment of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District is a chance for these historic theaters to collaborate on community-wide performing arts initiatives. The mission of the theater collaboration is to raise the profile of and draw audiences to Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District. The three theaters are all located in downtown Santa Barbara, within convenient walking distance of each other and other exciting cultural venues and events.
“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 said. “I look forward to spending time at all three venues, and sharing the message of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District.”
To debut their partnership, the three theaters are joining the lineup of the Downtown Organization’s 1st Thursday events to host a series of 1st Thursday: After Hours, a chance for Santa Barbara arts and culture patrons to enjoy these historic spaces as never before! Santa Barbara Downtown’s favorite cultural event, 1st Thursdays, occur on the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m., and participating galleries and art-related venues offer free access to visual and performing art in a fun and social environment.
After enjoying the exhibits throughout the downtown galleries and local shops, guests are invited to keep the fun going after 8 p.m. in Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District. Hosted at a different theater each month, the 1st Thursday: After Hours will feature sips and bites from one of the Theatre District’s restaurant partners and live local entertainment. Beginning Dec. 5, Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District will host the inaugural 1st Thursday: After Hours at the newly renovated Lobero Theatre from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
“This creative partnership between the three theaters is a great example of cultural organizations coming together to increase access to the arts and expand their audiences, while engaging the community,” said Ginny Brush, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. “1st Thursday has become an immensely popular tradition for local Santa Barbara arts and culture enthusiasts, igniting the Cultural Arts District after 5pm. With the addition of 'After Hours' at the theaters, that energy can continue!”
The schedule of 1st Thursday: After Hours for the coming Winter/Spring season will be as follows:
» Dec. 5 at the Lobero Theatre
» Skipping January due to holidays
» Feb. 6 at the Granada Theatre
» March 6 at the New Vic
» April 3 at the Lobero Theatre
» May 1 at The Granada Theatre
» June 5 at the New Vic
The Granada Theatre, the Lobero Theatre, and the Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic are leaders in the performing arts community of Santa Barbara. 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. Stay tuned for more announcements in this exciting collaboration, including multivenue ticket packaging, convenient purchasing, volunteer opportunities and more.
— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Historic Theatre District.