Buy Arlington Theatre Tickets
Arlington Theatre Tickets
Its not just the passion of art and literature that drives you to theatre rather its that innate force within one self that acts as a magnet. Considering this magnetic pull, many performing art arenas are built for the encouragement of art, literature, music and performances. The Arlington Theater is likewise one such inspirational piece of art and it is Santa Barbara's largest movie theater and main performing arts venue in the United States of America. In spite of the regular screenings and artists, it is home to many events associated with the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
The scene of many premiers and "sneak previews" with Hollywood?s movie idols, the Arlington hosted a variety of stage shows and concerts as well as movies. CAMA?s first concert in the Arlington was in 1936, with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since 1976, all of CAMA?s Arlington Series concerts have been performed in the theatre.
Arlington Theatre Tickets Information
Located at 1317 State Street, the Arlington was built in 1931 on the former site of the Arlington Hotel, which was destroyed following the 1925 earthquake. Both buildings have Robert E. Lee's Virginia mansion as their namesake. This name was chosen to appease both North and South Civil War sympathizers, as this mansion was later occupied by Union general Ulysses S. Grant.
The current structure was erected in 1930 as a showcase movie house for Fox West Coast Theaters. It was restored and expanded in the mid-1970s by Metropolitan Theaters Corporation. It opened in its current incarnation in 1976.
The story of the Arlington Theatre is one of Santa Barbara?s most multihued occurrences. It begins in 1874, when a group of local businessmen formed the Seaside Hotel Company to provide a luxury hotel for the stream of wealthy visitors travelling from the Eastern U.S. to vacation in Santa Barbara. The owners were divided in their loyalties to the North and South in the recent Civil War, so they compromised by settling on the name "Arlington" -- the Virginia estate owned by General Robert E. Lee and later used by General U.S. Grant. The 90-room, all-wood hotel was famed for its ornate beauty and ranked with the famous Coronado in San Diego, hosting receptions for Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Equestrian Avenue, still bearing that name, was situated nearby to accommodate the coaches and horses for the many riding visitors.
On August 15, 1909 the hotel became the victim of faulty electric wiring, thus burnt to the ground. Due to the efforts of its many loyal winter guests who wanted it rebuilt, a turgid new stucco structure was constructed in the colonial mission style similar to Riverside?s Mission Inn. The new hotel featured twin towers with 2,100 electric lights, ten miles of telephone wire, and a drive-in underground entrance and parking facility to accommodate the increasing number of visitors arriving by automobile. The hotel?s grounds featured rose gardens, greenhouses, a deer park, zoo and golf course.
On the morning of June 29, 1925, disaster struck again when an earthquake leveled most of downtown Santa Barbara. The heavy water tank in the Arlington?s tower swayed from side to side, finally causing the tower to collapse in a heap of rubble. Two guests in the tower?s luxury suites were crushed amongst the other13 quake victims of the city. Although the main structure was not damaged beyond repair, it had become unprofitable and the decision was made to demolish it.
The Arlington's architecture represents an amalgamation of Spanish styles. The red tiled building features a covered courtyard with fountain and a free-standing ticket booth. The auditorium itself seats 2,000 on the floor and balcony. Both walls feature faux villas, and the ceiling is dotted with simulated starlight. One of the Arlington's signature treasures is an old-fashioned organ hidden from view that rises on a platform into view when played before a performance.
The weed patch that had been the site of two great hotels lay vacant until 1930, when Hollywood based Fox West Coast Theatres decided to build a new movie palace for Santa Barbara on the site. Architect Joseph J. Plunkett designed the building?s exterior to create the illusion of a soaring Spanish castle resembling the Moorish Alcazar in Seville. Borrowing from a variety of Spanish architectural styles, Plunkett?s Andalusian structure combined buttresses, balconies, domes and arches, with romantic stairways leading down to secluded courts. The tile-roofed esplanade and fountain leading from State Street to the theatre?s entrance was copied from the castle of the Duque de Alba in Seville. Thousands of glazed Tunisian tiles festoon the sweeping staircases on either side of the main foyer, and artisans created replicas of 14th ? 16th century Catalonian chandeliers and iron lanterns.
As one of Fox?s handful of "atmospheric theatres" constructed between 1923 and 1932, no expense was spared in transforming the Arlington Theatre?s barrel-vaulted interior hall to create the illusion of being outdoors on a star-filled summer evening. The "buildings" surrounding the audience on the side walls reflect varieties of Spanish and early Californian architecture, recalling the romantic and picturesque vision of Spanish life. Each building is shown in complete appearance to the last detail, with roofs, chimneys, lighted windows, balconies, stairways, niches and hand-made grilles, weathervanes and other ironwork. Until the 1976 renovation of the interior, a Roman arch bridge formed the proscenium connecting the "towns" on either side.