1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401 | map |
The city's website provides information on upcoming meetings regarding the future of the building. A contact person is Jessica Cusick in the Department of Cultural Affairs at 310-458-8350.
Opened: 1958. The Civic was the site of the 1961 - 1968 Academy Awards.
The main floor is on a hydraulic lift allowing the front of the auditorium to be brought up to stage level for use of the entire space as a 16,200 s.f. flat floored exhibition hall.
The stage is 39' deep x 115' wide. Grid height is 70'. The proscenium is 31' high x 65' wide.
Architect: Welton Becket. Becket designed many other Los Angeles buildings including Capitol Records and the Cinerama Dome.
Seating: 3,000 in concert format
Status: Endangered. The City of Santa Monica wanted to tear it down instead of giving it an expensive upgrade. In recent years it has been underutilized. It closed June 30, 2013 and its future is being debated. One possibility is redeveloping adjacent property to pay for renovations.
There was going to be a deal with the Nederlander organization to book
the theatre. Evidently that was contingent on a chunk of redevelopment
agency money being available for renovations. With the demise of
redevelopment agencies statewide, the money vanished -- and the deal collapsed.
Santa Monica Civic in the Movies: The venue was the location for filming "The T.A.M.I. Show" (American International, 1964).
More Information: Save The Civic is an organization spearheading a campaign to prevent a teardown of the building. You can also visit them on Facebook.
Curbed L.A. ran a piece in March 2014 by Neal Broverman suggesting that a revitalized Civic could be the centerpiece of a new cultural district. Also see the May 2013 Curbed story "Should SaMo Tear Down Its Midcentury Civic Auditorium?."
A June 2013 Santa Monica Mirror piece detailed the city's struggles with the future of the building.
Santa Monica Daily Press ran a May 19 story about the city's plan to mothball the venue. The L.A. Times ran a June 29, 2013 story about the closure.
Wikipedia has an article on the Santa Monica Civic.
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Vintage Los Angeles
In the lobby for opening day at the Santa Monica Civic
in 1958. Alison Martino discovered the photo in
the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
full size view | on FB/LAtheatres
Opening day 1958 at the Civic. Alison Martino has
the photo on Vintage Los Angeles, where she
credits it to the Los Angeles Public Library.
Liz Taylor is heading to the stage for her best actress
Oscar in 1961 for "Butterfield 8" She's escorted by
then-husband Eddie Fisher. Ej Cat added the
photo to the Vintage Los Angeles page.
full size view
| on LATheatres.blogspot
A 1968 Academy Awards shot added to the Vintage
Los Angeles collection by Debra Romo-Zenter.
Thanks to Richard Wojcik for his post of this
Julius Schulman / Getty Collection photo from
1958. Don't miss the comments on Vintage
Los Angeles, where there are 4 more photos.
full size view | on Vintage LA
Also from Richard: