The Plight of the Historic California Theatre

youtubeThe Plight of the Historic California Theatre
By Angela Carone | Published by
March 6, 2013

A couple of years ago, it was dangerous to walk by the abandoned California Theatre on 4th and C Streets. The cool vintage marquee reading “California” was falling down and posed a threat to passersby. It was rightfully taken down, robbing the building of one of its last remaining jewels (tarnished as it was).

The theater is on the ground floor of a shuttered nine-story building. The property covers an entire city block and has sat empty for more than 20 years. Vagrants and pigeons live inside. Graffiti dots its walls, including a piece by the French street artist Invader.

Few people have been inside since it was boarded up. It’s an unlikely fate for a building so prominently located on a prime piece of real estate. The California Theatre building sits directly across the street from City Hall.
(Click here to read the whole article, or click on the image to watch the Youtube video.)


  1. What is lacking is a steering organization to oversee how the two already renovated theatres and the California can meet the broadest possible range of community nedds to make them the glue that brings residents, business and arts back to downtown. If each theatre is a competing point of focus it will not succeed. Check out the web site and it’s 50 s0me minute video, or rhw power of three

  2. Wonderful post, I’ve been following the story of San Diego’s, California Theater for a number of years. I hope something will be done soon, to at least secure the building. This is one of the big ones out there that still can be saved. I agree with J. Bennett.

    Joe Petrosino

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