Historic Balboa Theatre adds beauty downtown.

Distinctive dome of the restored Balboa Theatre seen from Broadway.
Distinctive dome of the restored Balboa Theatre seen from Broadway.

It’s going to be chilly and drizzly today, so I might not be going out for my customary walk. Instead, I thought I’d share a few photos of downtown’s beautiful Balboa Theatre that I took at various times last summer.

The Balboa Theatre has a long and interesting history. Built in 1924 as a vaudeville and movie palace, the large multi-story building containing offices overlooking Fourth Avenue has undergone a complex series of transformations. During World War II, it was used to house sailors waiting to ship out from San Diego. At one point the aging building was saved from demolition; finally it was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008, the Balboa Theatre reopened after a thorough remodel, and it is now considered one of the foremost performance venues in the world. It was recently named by CNN Travel as one of the world’s 15 most spectacular theatres! Not bad!

Here are a few more pics of the exterior. I often steer my feet so that I walk past this beautiful building!

Balboa Theatre sign is a landmark in San Diego's Gaslamp.
Balboa Theatre sign is a landmark in San Diego’s Gaslamp.
People walk past box office of the historic Balboa Theatre.
People walk past box office of the historic Balboa Theatre.
Close look at artwork on Balboa Theatre's cool marquee.
Close look at artwork on Balboa Theatre’s cool marquee.
The Balboa Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Balboa Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Balboa Theatre stands adjacent to downtown's equally famous Horton Plaza.
The Balboa Theatre stands next to downtown’s equally cool Horton Plaza.

One more pic I added on a later date:

Old photo and letter B from Balboa Theatre sign on display by sidewalk next to Horton Plaza.
Window display of old photograph and letter B from Balboa Theatre sign.  These can be seen a short distance down the sidewalk.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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