Balboa Theatre

 

Balboa Theatre

San Diego, CA

Built in 1924, the historic Balboa Theatre was an elegant vaudeville and movie palace in the heart of downtown San Diego. At the time it was a state-of-the-art building that included six storefronts along Fourth Avenue, with 34 offices on the floors above.  In 1959, the Russo family of San Diego acquired the building and saved it from potential demolition. They operated it as a action movie house until the City of San Diego purchased it in 1986. Ten years later, the Balboa Theatre Foundation nominated the Theatre to the National Register of Historic Places to save both the interior and exterior of this community asset.

The Balboa Theatre had been closed for over twenty years. After numerous efforts to privately renovate and reopen the Theatre, the commitment was made in 2002 to retain the historic Balboa Theatre as a public asset with the City's Redevelopment Agency funding its renovation and restoration and reopening the Theatre as a community performing arts center to be managed and operated by San Diego Theatres. Since that commitment in October 2002, Centre City Development Corporation has proceeded with the rehabilitation of the Theatre.

 

 Balboa Wonder Morton

 

    

The 4-manual, 23-rank Wonder Morton Organ made its debut performance in the Balboa Theatre on September 27, 2009. Representing the apex of the silent film era, this instrument is one of the five "Wonder" models that the Morton Organ Company built for Loew's Theatre chain. The Balboa Morton was originally installed in Loew’s Valencia on Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

 

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