On July 25th, the Santa Barbara City Council designated the Alhecama Theatre at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park the City’s newest Historic Landmark. You can read more about this 1925 community theatre on the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s (SBTHP) website, here. SBTHP recently completed a multi-year restoration of the interior and exterior of the building, and it is now available for community use and our public programs.
The Alhecama Theatre met multiple criteria the City uses to determine landmark designations, including its character, interest, or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, the State, or the Nation, and its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials, and craftsmanship, among others. For the City’s full staff report on the landmark nomination, click here.
SBTHP Board president Debby Aceves, Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resources Mike Imwalle, Board Member Mary Louise Days and Channel Coast Superintendent, California State Parks Danita Rodriguez spoke in support of the designation at the City Council hearing and accepted the proclamation.
Just two weeks later, the Theatre was featured on the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Institute of Architects annual ArchitecTours. This year’s tours featured inspirational places to work, live and play in Downtown Santa Barbara. More than 300 people participated on the tours. We are grateful for the help of board members Terease Chin, Don Sharpe and Anthony Grumbine for sharing the theatre with the tour participants. Anthony Grumbine, with Harrison Design, was also one of the organizers of the tour, and made a presentation to Alhecama visitors about the significance of plazas as a feature of good design in cities, using the School of the Arts’ campus green in front of the Theatre for inspiration.
We are proud of all of the well-deserved attention the Alhecama is receiving, and we hope to see you there for an event soon! Check our calendar for upcoming opportunities.