The Lobero Theatre has been a grand presence in the city of Santa Barbara since 1873 and many have enjoyed unforgettable performances by the many professional actors who have graced its stage. As California’s oldest continuously operating theatre, the Lobero has naturally undergone renovations over the years, but it’s never been closed and the entertainment has never stopped.
The Lobero & Santa Barbara
In the 1920s, the theatre enjoyed many golden years of production in which “preview performances” were shown for Hollywood. Many stage greats, including Tallulah Bankhead, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Barrymore, and more performed during this time. Promising musicians who would grow in popularity also performed on the Lobero stage. Musicians during this time period included Vladimir Horowitz and Sergei Rachmaninoff, among others.
During the 1940s, the Lobero continued offering first class performances and hosted stars such as Clark Gable, Ingrid Bergman, Igor Stravinsky, Leopold Stokowski, Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Dame Judith Anderson and more. The Lobero’s well known jazz history started in 1949 with performances from Nappy La Marre and the Dixie Land Bobcats, and continued from there as the theatre hosted some of the best known names in Jazz, such as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Ray Brown, Roy Haynes and Dave Brubeck.
Stars of the Stage
There have been so many other stars that have performed on the Lobero’s Santa Barbara stage over the years, including, but not limited to, Bobby McFerrin, Marilyn Horne, Lynn Redgrave, Jerome Lowenthal, John Cleese, Kathy Bates, James Whitmore, John Raitt, Tracy Chapman, Jeff, Beau and Lloyd Bridges, McCoy Tyner, Charles Lloyd, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Patrick Steward and many more.
The stage is also the home to many local performing arts groups from all across Santa Barbara’s theaters, such as the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Sings Like Hell, CAMA’s Masterseries, Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, and Music Academy West to name some.
Visiting the Lobero
Ongoing preservation efforts are always in the works to keep the historic theaters in Santa Barbara running smoothly for generations to come. Since it is a well-used, well-loved venue, there are regularly held fundraising efforts in the community to preserve this landmark. If you are interested in attending a performance at the Lobero Theatre on your next vacation, there are always plenty of shows and concerts coming up. You can start by visiting the main website and clicking on “Events” to see what is scheduled for upcoming months.