The History of the Lobero, from First Fiesta to First Thursday

Posted on Jul 17 by SEASONS Magazine

We often take the Lobero Theater for granted, seeing it as a venue for our favorite comedians and artists instead of for the architectural and historical gem that it is. Few know that Old Spanish Days Fiesta was originally created 88 years ago to commemorate the opening of the then-newly-renovated Lobero, and even fewer have had the opportunity to experience the Lobero in all its historical glory.

Lobero Theatre, circa ___, courtesy of Lobero Theatre Foundation

Lobero Theatre, circa ___, courtesy of Lobero Theatre Foundation

Well, all that is about to change with Encore: Lobero, a new campaign developed to honor and restore this historic building. With the improvements made through Encore: Lobero, the Lobero’s architectural and historical integrity will be preserved for future generations of history buffs and theater-goers.

The Lobero’s history didn’t begin 88 years ago. In fact, the Lobero is California’s oldest continuously  operating theater, first opening its doors in 1873. The renovation in 1924 by two legendary architects (George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs) enhanced the original architecture and added features that we all adore today.

To take advantage of the Lobero’s historical restoration and exploration, come out to “First Fiesta to First Thursday” on August 2,  the public’s first look at all the behind-the-scenes secrets of Smith and Riggs’s architectural feat and the restorations to come. At this event,  attendees will learn novel details about the building, including its role in the early Old Spanish Days Fiesta, while enjoying interactive displays and information from the architect overseeing the renovations.

For more information, please visit the Encore: Lobero website.

—Taylor Micaela Davis


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