Upon opening its doors in 1965 the San Diego Civic Theatre has offered its patrons an unrivaled selection of brilliant theatrical events. Built at the cost of $4.1 million, and with a seating capacity of 2,967, it is the biggest venue for performing arts in the southern California region.
Upon entering the Grand Salon, you will gaze in wonderment at the Theatre's most famous architectural piece. The chandelier weighs 2,800 pounds, with 52,000 Bavarian crystals twinkling, drawing attention from all eyes around the room. The beautiful design fills the room with character, allowing you to immerse yourself in the full experience.
The Theatre is owned by the city of San Diego and operated by San Diego Theatres to benefit the local community and visitors alike. Throughout its history, it has played a role as the community's focal point during:
- Governmental announcements
- Religious gatherings
- Political rallies
The Theatre is also the home base of the San Diego Opera and Broadway San Diego. On a regular basis, it hosts the California Ballet and the La Jolla Music Society, as well as touring operas and dance companies.
This venue offers a wide range of performances! It presents many of the most popular Broadway musicals, plays, and concerts. The theatre has even hosted lectures by such luminaries as Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson and Maya Angelou!
The San Diego Civic Theatre aims to be an inclusive venue. As a beacon for the theatres and arts in San Diego, the theatre strives to offer performances that are staged to appeal to every type of audience. Many are intended for families, and children are very welcome at age-appropriate shows. It is the belief of the venue that developing a love of ‘theatre’ from a young age will enrich them their whole lives.
The best part? If you've ever wanted to go behind the scenes and learn more about how opera and other shows are created, the volunteers and staff of San Diego Opera are ready to show you around! Book a free backstage tour and access the parts of the Civic Theatre, which are not usually seen by the public.
You'll not only get to view the spectacular costumes and scenery up-close; you'll witness the inevitable bustle before a performance as the backstage crew and performers get ready to work their magic.
Backstage tours cannot be booked in advance and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, for patrons with tickets. For apparent reasons, numbers are limited, but there are usually 3-4 tours of around 15 minutes each, before each show. It is worth coming early to guarantee your place, as this experience is guaranteed to deepen your understanding of the Theatre and enrich your enjoyment of the performance you've come to see.
Located in the heart of Downtown San Diego, the Civic Theatre is within easy walking distance of the city's buzzing nightlife. It's in the perfect location for you to get a taste of the sweet San Diego culture.
If you’re playing on visiting the Civic Theatre for a performance, consider staying at one of the many hotels within walking distance. Located within the Core-Columbia neighborhood of the Downtown San Diego area, the theatre is minutes away from some of the best hotels in San Diego. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to pick but we made a quick list of a few of our favorites we think you’ll enjoy!