Founded in 1917 and declared the State Theatre of California in 1937, the beautiful Pasadena Playhouse enjoyed a reputation as “Hollywood’s talent factory” for many years as it churned out great actors like William Holden, Eve Arden, Robert Preston, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman. Superman’s (George Reeve’s) 1959 memorial service was held here. In May 2010 the Playhouse filed for bankruptcy. It reopened in July, with plans to produce four plays per season.
Diversity is the name of the game these days, and Pasadena Playhouse’s seasons are invariably full of new musicals, classics, contemporary dramas, and light-hearted fare. The Playhouse’s Theatrical Diversity Project and the Hothouse reading series help ensure that it has a steady stream of interesting new projects, while the Directors Lab West program nurtures new directors and other artists.
The 99-seat Carrie Hamilton Theatre (which is undergoing a Frank Gehry-designed renovation) provides a venue for the Playhouse’s developmental work; it’s also home to edgy artist-in-residence, the Furious Theatre Company.
Pasadena Playhouse Information
- Public Transportation: Good (a short walk from Metro buses 180, 181, 187, 256, 687, and 686 at Colorado Blvd./El Molino Avenue. You can also take the Gold Line to the Memorial Park Station and walk to Colorado – a 2-minute walk – and catch any of the above mentioned buses to the theater)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Performance schedule is Tuesday–Sunday
- Ticket Prices: Single ticket prices are $25–$72, $15–$25 tickets for full-time students under 30. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more
- Subscriptions: Multiple subscription packages, including those that include tickets for an entire season’s worth of shows as well as a flex-pass option, are available. Discount subscription rates offered for full-time students under 25. Benefits include free ticket exchanges and free tickets to Hothouse New Play Development Series.