Thousands pass by the Balboa Theatre daily, rarely noticing the once thriving cultural center at the corner of Fourth Avenue and E Street. Opened in 1924 by the Balboa Building Company, the 1,524-seat venue cost $80,000 to build. The theatre was host to nationally recognized vaudeville acts and major movie stars throughout the 20’s. In 1930, the theatre was renamed El Teatro Balboa and began showing Spanish-language flims and stage productions. When WWII hit the theatre housed sailors until in 1959 it was transformed into an action movie venue.
Over the next couple decades the building fell into decline. In 1985, the Centre City Development Corporation aquired the property by eminent domain but it wasn’t until 2002 the CCDC authorized rehabiltation of the historic venue. The original grandeur of this building was restored as this building is listed on the Register of Historical Places. Renovation and restoration began in early summer of 2006 and is expected to be completed at the end of November.
This new performing arts center will surely breathe new life, and old charm, into San Diego’s theater district.
For more info visit Balboa’s Website or CCDC’s site