A California State Landmark located on South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, it was founded by Gilmor Brown in 1917, and its current location opened to the public in May 1925. It has produced hundres of plays, some world premieres, others made into movies, and some have gone to Broadway, it was also the first American theater to produce all the plays of William Shakespeare. In 1937 it was given the honor of being the California state theater by the California Legislature with a unanamous vote. Almost all the casts of its plays were drawn from area acting studios. However, its College of Theatre Arts, known during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s as "Hollywood's talent factory," launched the careers of countless playwrights, directors and actors such as William Holden, Gloria Stuart, Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman.
After the rise of television following World War II, the playhouse's audience steadly declined and in 1966 it was forced to close, leaving the building to decay, but in the 1980s the city obtained a grant from the Economic Development Agency, and began restoration leading to the grand reopening in 1986. The original curtain with a scene of a sailing galleon, installed in 1925, is still being used today.
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-2023