New Victoria Street Theatre

Santa Barbara, CA

Renovation & Addition 

The project received unanimous approval from the Historic Landmarks Committee for necessary improvements to the entry and the stage house portion of the building, while still preserving the historically important and familiar exterior architecture of the building.

From the outside, the hall’s shape appears similar, but with some significant alterations.

The landing on Victoria Street has been extended and elevated so that activity in front of the theater will present visual interest from as far away as State Street.

The building’s venerable stained glass windows have been cleaned, sealed, and soundproofed. Baffled from inside to protect the integrity of the theater’s soundstage, each window will now be uniformly illuminated from within whenever the theater is open.

The hall’s inner courtyard, largely unused in recent years, has been restored and developed into a patio space where refreshments can be served.

Finally, the new fly tower rises 55 feet above Chapala Street in order to accommodate the theater’s fully automated, digitally controlled system for raising and lowering sets.

Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) is Santa Barbara’s leading professional resident theatre company, Ensemble Theatre is Santa Barbara’s longest running, most award-winning professional theatre.

The New Vic will become the permanent home for Ensemble Theatre Company and complete the City of Santa Barbara’s long-term vision for a downtown performing arts district to serve the broader arts community. It will be an exceptional venue for lectures, dance, ballet, chamber music, film, and a rich variety of performing arts.

ETC’s goal is for the renovated theater to be a modern, comfortable, well-equipped performance hall, with advanced lighting and sound equipment, and flexibly.

The remodel will include:

  • Raising the stage house and providing new rigging and lighting
  • New basement dressing rooms
  • New backstage loading door and area
  • New auditorium finishes, seating and architectural lighting
  • Expanded lobby and restrooms
  • Address accessibility code requirements
  • New box office
  • New fire sprinkler system
  • Upgrade main electrical service

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