California Community Theatre: A Timeline

1905

PacRep Theatre: the Carmel Club of Arts & Crafts opened the town's first theatre & cultural center, the Carmel Arts & Crafts Clubhouse.

1928

The Alcazar (Plaza Playhouse Theater’s original name) opened on April 27, 1928.

1929

Long Beach Playhouse was founded in Long Beach.

1937

Lamplighters Community Theatre: Founded as The La Mesa Little Theatre

1941

Ramona Hillside Players was founded in Hemet.

1946

Morgan-Wixson was founded (under the name Santa Monica Theatre Guild). The Guild has been located at its present site on Pico Blvd. since 1966.

1946

Coronado Playhouse was first organized as the Coronado Players.

1948

Chanticleers Theatre was founded in Castro Valley.

1950

Fall 1950. Frank Jones, librarian, and Clyde Nielsen, banker, led theatre enthusiasts in an enterprise they called Stockton Civic Theatre.

1953

The Cabrillo Playhouse: The San Clemente Community Theatre was chartered as a non-profit corporation. The Cabrillo Playhouse opened in 1966.

1957

Visalia Players was founded. They have been various places, but since 1976 has its home at the Ice House Theatre in Visalia.

1958

The Conejo Players was born with a "Let's start a theatre" attitude, a meager treasury, & a handful of volunteers to build a stage in a barn & put on shows.

1959

Pacifica Spindrift Players formed in Pacifica, California.

1959

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre was founded as the first organization in Santa Maria to provide continuous live theatre performances.

1961

Westminster Community Playhouse: 1961: theatre founded; 1974: theatre constructed; first show: May 31, 1974; Westminster, CA

1962

Huntington Beach Playhouse was founded.

1964

The Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s was officially organized in 1964, and quickly developed into the largest arts organization in the region.

1967

Golden Chain Theatre was founded in Oakhurst.

1968

Tehachapi Community Theatre was founded.

1969

South Valley Civic Theatre was founded in Gilroy California (originally called Gilroy Community Theater).

1972

Lyric Theatre: Founded in San Jose, CA

1972

Ferndale Repertory Theatre was founded.

1976

Chautauqua Playhouse was founded in Carmichael.

1976

Mendocino Theatre Company: The historic black-box stage has been the site of over 200 productions since the company’s founding.

1976

Pewter Plough Playhouse : Cambria's unique, intimate Jewel Box of Community Theatres, presenting entertaining live stage plays & other events year-round.

1977

Willits Community Theatre: from humble beginnings, WCT has developed into a well-established organization, presenting live theater throughout the year.

1977

Gloriana Musical Theatre: originally known as The Gloriana Opera Company, was founded, with Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado as its first offering at Crown Hall.

1978

Tulare’s Encore Theatre Company in Tulare was created by a group of theatre supporters.

1978

Lighthouse Repertory Theatre was founded in Crescent City.

1978

The Star Theatre opened as a movie theatre in 1956. Its youth theatre company was established in 1978 and its community theatre in 2000.

1979

Newport Theatre Arts Center was founded in Newport Beach.

1979

PowPAC, Poway's Community Theatre, was founded in Poway.

1981

Riverfront Playhouse was founded in Redding.

1983

Birdcage Theatre was founded in Oroville CA, when the Mercury Register donated the building.

1984

North Coast Repertory Theatre in Eureka.

1986

OnStage Playhouse was founded in Chula Vista.

1986

Pinole Players was founded in Pinole.

1986

West Valley Playhouse in Canoga Park was Founded. It was incorporated in 1989.

1987

ARIEL Theatrical was founded in Salinas, California.

1990

Camino Real Playhouse was founded in San Juan Capistrano by BJ and Tom Scott to promote the arts and the magic of theatre"

1991

LifeHouse Theater (Redlands) began in 1991 and was independently incorporated by Wayne Scott as a non-profit community theater company in 1993.

1994
Rocklin Community Theatre: Finn Hall has been the home of theatre programs in Rocklin since 1994.
1994

The theatre division (San Anselmo Town Players) functioned under Park & Rec department before becoming a division of Stapleton School of the Performing Arts.

1994

Elite Theatre Company was founded at the Petit Playhouse, Heritage Square, in Oxnard, CA.

1994

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) was founded in Sierra Foothill / the Gold Country: Nevada City and Grass Valley.

1997

Palm Canyon Theatre was founded in Palm Springs.

1998

Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT) annually presents free, outdoor theatre on weekend afternoons throughout the summer months of July and August.

1998

Pegasus Theater was formed by a group of experienced theater folk living in the Russian River area.

1998

Silicon Valley Shakespeare was formed.

1999

The San Leandro Players began.

1999

​ Theatre 29 is a tax exempt 501(c)3 non-profit community theatre which has been providing quality entertainment since our founding.

2001

Temecula Performing Arts Company: Started under the "umbrella" of the Fine Arts Network. Became separate non-profit in 2013.

2001

FreeFall Stage was founded in Folsom.

2002

Placer Community Theater was founded in Auburn.

2002

Raven Players was founded in Healdsburg.

2002

Changing Faces Theater Company was founded in Lodi.

2004

Mountain Youth and Community Theatre: Meyer Hideout was Co-Founded by John Williams and Kyla Meyer.

2005

Stars of Tomorrow Children's Theater was founded in Redlands.

2006

Point Loma Playhouse was founded.

2006

Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom was founded.

2007

Lodi Musical Theatre was founded.

2009

A Repertory Theatre was founded in Banning.

2010

The Desert Rose Playhouse was founded in 2010 in Rancho Mirage. In 2012, it opened its first season of plays and musicals.

2010

Brentwood Theater Company was founded.

2010

Pickwick Players Theatre was founded in Santee.

2010

Stage Door Repertory Theatre was founded in Anaheim.

2011

Limelight Actors Theater was founded in Gilroy at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, and are the Resident Theater Company.

2011

Clayton Theatre Company was founded in Clayton.

2011

West Sacramento Black Box Theatre: The Black Box Theatre's opening coincided with the opening of the West Sacramento Community Center, which houses the theater.

2012

Ovation Stage in Sacramento was founded at the R25 Arts Complex, The Three Penny Theatre.

2014

InnovaTeatro was founded.

2015

Hanford Multicultural Theater Company was founded.

2015

Laguna Niguel Community Theatre was founded in Laguna Niguel.

2016

Axiom Repertory Theatre was founded on January 1 in Redding.

2015

Paraphrase Productions was founded in Pacific Grove.

2016

Truckee Community Theater became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

2016

German Theater Group was founded in San Diego.

2016

Axiom Repertory Theatre was founded in Redding.

2017
Anderson Redding Tehama Scholarship Theatre was founded in Shasta County.
2017

San Diego Theatre Connection was founded. SDTC is a group of nine community theaters across SD County.

2018

Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble was founded in Brentwood (Northern CA).

2019

Anticipated opening of Scotts Valley Theater Guild performing arts center.

2019

Workshop 44 was founded in Los Banos.

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