By Alex Cordero
There are many places in Pasadena that contribute to the city’s fame and elegant culture. Places like The Pasadena Playhouse are among the City’s most recognizable and historic buildings. The Performing Arts Theatre accomplished three significant milestones this year and is inviting the entire Pasadena community to celebrate. However, if three milestone reasons are not enough to have you attend the block party of the year there might be one more that may just have what it takes to convince you.
- Party like a centenarian
The Pasadena Playhouse’s first celebratory milestone is one hundred years of being in existence, since it was first established in 1917. Its founder Gilmor Brown saw the opportunity to raise money to purchase the land on 39 S. El Molino. Under his tutelage the theatre consisted of five stages, took up a full square block, and had a theater college. The building that was once a burlesque house turned out to become the largest theater in the world at the time.
- 90 years of Theatre College
In 1927 The Playhouse established what is now called the College of Theatre Arts. The ‘ivory tower’ was built in 1937 on the northwest side of the campus to accommodate the fast growing classroom courses and the students coming to enroll with hopes of making their big break in the entertainment industry. Alumni like Gene Hackman, Angela Bassett, and many more, have attended the College of Theatre Arts and have gone on to have remarkable careers.
- It is California’s State Theater
The Playhouse also celebrates the 80th anniversary of being designated the State Theatre of California. The Spanish Colonial Revival building, designed by Elmer Grey, is a theater that was built for the community. The theatre experienced a downfall in the 1960’s after founder Gilmore Brown past away. It has suffered financial difficulties threatening the theater’s longevity and active involvement in theater arts. Today, more than ever, the Playhouse is resurrecting and actively contributing to the elite theatre culture for which the Pasadena community is known.
- Playhouse Block Party is free
The Pasadena Playhouse has decided to celebrate all of these milestones by hosting a free block party for the City of Pasadena on Saturday June 9. It will feature stage performances, live musical entertainment, dancing, food, guided tours of the theater, a kid’s zone, and a lot more. The event will be from noon to10 p.m. at the Pasadena Playhouse, and did we already mention that it is free?
The Pasadena Playhouse organization recognizes that without the constant support of the community the Playhouse may not be what it is today, a highly distinguished community theatre. The free block party event is a thank you to the Pasadena community for being tenacious in preserving this historic building, and to kick off another one hundred years of theater at the Pasadena Playhouse.
The Spanish Colonial Revival building, designed by Elmer Grey, is a theater that was built for the community. – Photo by Alex Cordero / Beacon Media News
The free block party event is a thank you to the Pasadena community. – Photo by Alex Cordero / Beacon Media News
The Playhouse also celebrates the 80th anniversary of being designated the State Theater of California. – Photo by Alex Cordero / Beacon Media News