The historic Balboa Theatre originally opened in 1924 as a vaudeville house. It served as a site for live entertainment until it was remodeled and reopened in 1934 as Teatro Balboa, featuring contemporary films from Mexico City and presenting Latin stars to San Diego’s increasingly diverse population. In 1959, the Russo family acquired the historic building saving it from potential demolition and then operated it as an action movie house until 1985 when it was acquired and closed by the City’s Redevelopment Agency. After numerous attempts for private development, the Agency committed in 2002 to retain the Balboa Theatre as a community asset and invest the funds required for its renovation and restoration. The Balboa Theatre reopened in January 2008.
It has become the performing home for the nationally recognized Mainly Mozart Summer Festival and the locally treasured Classics 4 Kids. California Ballet has expanded its collaborations at the Balboa, and the San Diego Men’s Chorus has produced numerous concert celebrations. Broadway/San Diego has found the Balboa to be perfect for its more intimate productions.
The Balboa Theatre has been honored to be the site of the San Diego Performing Arts League’s annual Star Awards and Cox Communication’s Salute to Teachers Awards.
San Diego Theatres would welcome remembrances or other details San Diegans may wish to share regarding their experiences and memories of attending the historic Balboa Theatre. Please send those to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Diego Civic Theatre opened on January 12, 1965. The opening performance featured the San Diego Symphony with soloists Dorothy Kirsten and Brian Sullivan. The evening’s activities were co-hosted by the San Diego Opera Guild and the San Diego Symphony. Preceding the concert were opening comments by J. Dallas Clark and Morley Golden.
Since its opening, the Civic Theatre has hosted many of the world’s greatest talents in fields of opera, classical music, orchestras, dance, comedians, contemporary music, and Broadway. Additionally, it has served as a community gathering place for inaugurations, governmental addresses, religious services, political activities, lectures, educational presentations, and corporate meetings.