Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Special Project: America's Wall: Decades-Long Struggle To Secure US-Mexico Border

ADVERTISEMENT | Become a sponsor today!

Balboa Theatre

San Diego Theatres manages, markets, operates and maintains the San Diego Civic Theatre in the heart of downtown and the historic Balboa Theatre in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Built in 1924, the historic Balboa Theatre was an elegant vaudeville and movie palace in the heart of downtown San Diego. At the time it was a state-of-the-art building that included six storefronts along Fourth Avenue, with 34 offices on the floors above.

After a 1934 remodeling, the theatre was reopened as Teatro Balboa, featuring contemporary films from Mexico City and presenting Latin stars to San Diego's increasingly diverse audience. During World War II, the theatre's office space was used by the US Navy. These offices were reconfigured into bachelor quarters for young men waiting to ship out. After the war, the remodeled spaces became single-occupancy housing.

In 1959, the Russo family of San Diego acquired the building and saved it from potential demolition. They operated it as a action movie house until the City of San Diego purchased it in 1986. Ten years later, the Balboa Theatre Foundation nominated the Theatre to the National Register of Historic Places to save both the interior and exterior of this community asset.

The Balboa Theatre had been closed for over twenty years. After numerous efforts to privately renovate and reopen the Theatre, the commitment was made in 2002 to retain the historic Balboa Theatre as a public asset with the City's Redevelopment Agency funding its renovation and restoration and reopening the Theatre as a community performing arts center to be managed and operated by San Diego Theatres. Since that commitment in October 2002, Centre City Development Corporation has proceeded with the rehabilitation of the Theatre with a goal to achieve its ambitious mission:

"To transform the Balboa Theatre into a contemporary performing arts venue treasured by patrons, producers, presenters, performers, and San Diego's regional community while contributing to redevelopment and the advancement of a vital downtown theatre district. Celebrating its rich history, the Balboa Theatre will be restored in accordance with local application of The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.

"Visitors will be inspired by its beauty, comfort, flexibility, and functionality. The Balboa Theatre's transformation will result in a well equipped, fully functioning venue to effectively and efficiently house diverse programs of local, national and international performances and presentations, and community, corporate and convention gatherings. For performing arts and formal gatherings, the historic Balboa Theatre will once again become a venue of preference."

The City of San Diego's Redevelopment Agency has invested over $26 million into the Balboa Theatre's renovation and restoration. This has included extensive seismic retro-fit to meet current requirements, complete replacement of all infrastructure systems including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and life safety, ADA accommodations, state-of-the-industry theatrical lighting, audio, rigging and production requirements, and audience accommodations including new seating.

The project has embraced and restored the historic finishes and appearance of the Balboa Theatre while incorporating current audience and production expectations to ensure its use for generations to come.

The historic Balboa Theatre reopened in January 2008 with much acclaim from audiences and performers. Additionally, it has received numerous special awards and recognition on a local, state and national professional organizations.

Ticket Office Business Hours
Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Upcoming event at Balboa Theatre

Cinema @ The Balboa: 'Sing-A-Long-A Sound Of Music'

  • Tomorrow, 5 p.m.
  • For those of you not yet converted, Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Julie Andrews film musical in glorious, full-screen technicolor, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along.

All upcoming events at Balboa Theatre

Cinema @ The Balboa: 'Sing-A-Long-A Sound Of Music'Tomorrow

Persian Music Artist Sami BeigiNovember 25, 2017

Tori Amos With Scars On 45November 28, 2017

Musical Comedian Tim MinchinNovember 29, 2017

La Jolla Music Society Presents 'Some Of A Thousand Words'December 2, 2017

Trailer Park Boys Comedy TourDecember 4, 2017

San Diego Gay Men's Chorus Presents Jingle 2017December 9, 2017

Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas TourDecember 14, 2017

An Irish Christmas 2017December 15, 2017

La Jolla Music Society Presents Dianne ReevesDecember 17, 2017

'Peter Pan & Tinker Bell: A Pirate's Christmas'December 21, 2017

'A Night With Janis Joplin'February 7, 2018

Beth Hart's 'Fire On The Floor'February 18, 2018

La Jolla Music Society Presents Pierre-Laurent AimardMarch 1, 2018

La Jolla Music Society Presents Herbie HancockMarch 7, 2018

Classics 4 Kids: From Bach To Rock March 8, 2018

La Jolla Music Society Presents The Joey Alexander TrioApril 28, 2018

San Diego Opera Presents 'One Amazing Night With Greer Grimsley And Lise Lindstrom'May 5, 2018

Classics 4 Kids: Aloha FriendsMay 31, 2018

Past events

Photo of this place

Business hours

Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT | Become a sponsor today!