121 Broadway, Downtown
There's no finer place to enjoy a show than the balcony seats perched five stories above the Spreckels Theatre stage. Built in 1912, the Spreckels Theatre was in its day the largest stage outside of New York City. A private stairway entrance to the balcony leads up 170 steps to a wide hallway, then descends through a portal into the balcony below, down the steepest set of stairs outside of Europe. Despite the vertigo, which disables all sense of grace, the payoff is proximity to the domed theater-palace ceiling embellished with paintings and back-lit statues of muses playing with dolphins. Little has been modernized up in the balcony; it has the original bouncy velvet-covered seats, illuminated etched-glass signs, and art deco carpeting. The view to the stage below is expansive and the acoustics are clear.