THE SANTA BARBARA CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Originally formed as a non-profit organization in 1983, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts reinvigorated in 1997 with the vision of creating a world class performing arts center to serve Santa Barbara and the region. We started by renovating one of the city's historic downtown theatres, The Granada. This storied venue, the anchor of Santa Barbara’s Cultural District, underwent a monumental restoration and re-opened in March 2008.
The Granada Theatre is proud to be the home of the area’s finest performing arts companies - Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony, CAMA, State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society. The venue is also a favorite stop for UCSB Arts & Lectures’ events on tour as well as Music Academy of the West’s Summer Festival Concert Series and the ever popular Broadway Series. Additionally, 2011 saw the launch of the exciting new Granada Theatre Concert Series. Every month the Granada Theatre showcases popular entertainers, such as The Moody Blues, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and world famous comedians. A dynamic array of outside presenters also bring top-level productions on tour to The Granada Theatre.
THE GRANADA THEATER: A REMARKABLE RESTORATION
For the past decade, The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, a non-profit organization, spearheaded a remarkable plan for the restoration of The Granada. With the help of the New York firm Sachs Morgan — theatre consultants for The Pantages in Los Angeles, The Orpheum in San Francisco and ten Broadway theatres — an amazing vision became a monumental feat when the historic entertainment palace re-opened March 2008.
To support this exciting plan, the non-profit created or acquired an additional 13,000 sq. ft. of adjacent space to ensure audience comfort and fulfill the needs of both performers and audience alike. The plan included the following comprehensive list of upgrades and enhancements:
• Excellent, comfortable seating and reconfigured sightlines for 1,550 patrons
• Restored loge and balcony sections with eight charming side boxes
• Numerous refinements to the excellent Granada acoustics
• Custom-designed orchestra shell
• Elegantly restored and improved lighting throughout
• New state-of-the-art box office and support suite
• Significantly expanded orchestra pit and backstage areas
• First-class, computer-controlled stage equipment and sound systems
• 50 new make-up stations in 11 new dressing rooms
• Beautifully restored and upgraded public spaces and amenities
• Extensive "new" Spanish decorative elements throughout
• New "Shubert Alley" in the Paseo de las Granadas - the gateway
to Santa Barbara's cultural arts district
To preserve The Granada Theatre's historic charm, period fixtures and other decorative elements were added throughout the theatre, lobby and lounges, bringing renewed beauty and splendor to the space. For example, the original chandelier, stored in a closed-off balcony for years, has been restored to its place of honor, along with a vibrant mural above the proscenium arch, the original Granada Alhambra drop curtain, and decorative "niches" adorning the theatre walls.
The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, with the support of many generous individuals and businesses, has ensured that future generations will inherit a beautiful Santa Barbara landmark — a theatre combining the charm of the past with the technology and amenities of the future.
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