AKA: Pasadena Community Theatre, Pasadena, CA; Pasadena Community Theater, Pasadena, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - performing arts centers; built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Grey, Elmer, Architect (firm); Winter Construction Company (firm); Elmer Grey (architect); Winter (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1924-1925

39 South El Molino Avenue
Old Pasadena, Pasadena, CA 91101-5220

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Building History

Architect Elmer Grey (1871-1963) designed the Pasadena Playhouse in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style; he collaborated with the building contractor, the Winter Construction Company. The first floor entry was recessed within a Spanish-style courtyard; the auditorium seated 832, with 224 in a balcony; the building's recital hall could hold 300, if an ante-room were included. The Pasadena Community Theatre cost $467,000 to build in 1924-1925, 83.5% of which was spent on the building and building fees. It contained 860,000 cubic feet, yielding a price of 54.3 cents per cubic foot.

Building Notes

The State of California Legislature named the Pasadena Playhouse its official state theatre in 1937. This distinction was bestowed because the venue had staged all of Shakespeare's plays, something no other American theatre could claim.

Its name was listed as simply the "Pasadena Playhouse," in the Pasadena, California, City Directory, 1943, (p. 1036.


The Pasadena Playhouse underwent a renovation in 1986. Since 1986, the playhouse has accommodated 686 patrons, and also contained three theaters that hold 50 people each.

California Historical Landmark: 887

National Register of Historic Places: 75000435 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 3939