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Balboa Theatre named one of world's 15 best

Epitomizes San Diego's beauty, says CNN

Image by Bernard Gagnon/Wikipedia

CNN Travel has named 15 of the world's most spectacular theaters. On the list is San Diego's Balboa Theatre, built in 1924. The Balboa fell into disrepair, and in 1959 it was set to be demolished. Restoration began in 2002.

"After a $26 million renovation, this elegant vaudeville theater has been fully restored, complete with its one-of-a-kind, fully operational interior waterfalls," says Ken Stein at the League of Historic American Theaters. He adds, "If you could sum up the beauty of the City of San Diego in a single design, this would be it."

The Balboa is in good company among the top 15. Among the others are the replica of Shakespeare's Globe in London, the Salle Richelieu and Palais Gamier in Paris, and the State Theatre in Sydney.

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Image by Bernard Gagnon/Wikipedia

CNN Travel has named 15 of the world's most spectacular theaters. On the list is San Diego's Balboa Theatre, built in 1924. The Balboa fell into disrepair, and in 1959 it was set to be demolished. Restoration began in 2002.

"After a $26 million renovation, this elegant vaudeville theater has been fully restored, complete with its one-of-a-kind, fully operational interior waterfalls," says Ken Stein at the League of Historic American Theaters. He adds, "If you could sum up the beauty of the City of San Diego in a single design, this would be it."

The Balboa is in good company among the top 15. Among the others are the replica of Shakespeare's Globe in London, the Salle Richelieu and Palais Gamier in Paris, and the State Theatre in Sydney.

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Comments
13

They used to show movies there.

None

April 25, 2014

Scott Marks: You are really loyal to your beat: movies. Best, Don Bauder

April 25, 2014

Lock me in a room with Ian Campbell and the board and I'll do for the opera what I did for The Ken. ;)

April 26, 2014

Scott Marks: I don't know that you want to be locked in a room with anybody on either side of these hostilities. Best, Don Bauder

April 26, 2014

Looks good for an opera. Kind of waisted beauty on Hugh Laurie.

April 25, 2014

shirleyberan: The San Diego Opera could use the Balboa for chamber operas. Best, Don Bauder

April 25, 2014

I have attended about 10 events at the Balboa Theatre; sight lines and acoustics are always good. Everyone I know says there isn't a bad seat in the house.

Out of curiosity, is there much info on the architect? Because whoever they were, they did a great job...of course the lobby is tiny, but I would guess the architect was told to get a certain number of seats inside certain dimensions.

April 25, 2014

eastlaker: I made a cursory search online and found surprisingly little about the theater and nothing about the original architect. But if you made a more diligent search, I will bet you will find more. Call Anna McCutcheon at 619-615-4000 and I am sure you could get more. Best, Don Bauder

April 25, 2014

Took about 30 seconds to find this much: Architect - Wheeler, William H.; Wurster Construction Co. et al. (Wikipedia)

April 26, 2014

dwbat: Good for you. My cursory search didn't even last 30 seconds. Beset, Don Bauder

April 26, 2014

And here's a page with more details on Wheeler: https://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/v54-2/pdf/v54-2engstrand.pdf

April 26, 2014

dwbat: That should be helpful for those seeking more information. Best, Don Bauder

April 26, 2014

I did a graphic on the Balboa when it reopened — way back when the CCDC existed and Copley owned the U-T — and it's still one of my all-time favorite pieces I've done: http://www.perryinfographics.com/#/a-classic-revival/

It's a beautiful building, inside and out.

May 4, 2014

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