A campaign to preserve and enhance
A message from Chairman, Jim Morouse
Like all functional historic buildings the Lobero naturally requires upkeep and stewardship to remain a viable community resource. The “Encore: Lobero” campaign is supporting the most significant “facelift” the theatre has had since the current building in 1924.
We’ve established a $6.25M campaign goal after assessing the theatre’s needs and the economic environment. We consulted with community groups that most use the theatre and we engaged architectural and construction professionals.
With some terrific input from patrons and partners, the board is focusing the Encore: Lobero on audience comfort. The starting point is new seats – the current seats were installed when Ronald Reagan was president! We’re talking new/wider seats, more legroom and better sightlines!
We are also excited about preserving/highlighting some of the architectural details (ceiling, architecture, whimsy) as well as the potential for realizing George Washington Smith’s original vision for “The Esplanade” – a flatter, more welcoming entrance to the theatre. And yes, more legroom and an impressive patron-to-potty ratio — we’re doubling the number of stalls in the women’s restroom!
We are reaching out to the community to raise the funds and implement a phased restoration plan that honors the legacy of the theatre and sets the stage for an exciting future.
Reopening is planned for December 2013.
Creating Our Legacy
The Board of the Lobero Theatre Foundation has a mission to preserve and operate one of Santa Barbara’s great historic landmarks as a community asset. We are the stewards of this building, a responsibility handed down over 138 years through scores of committed volunteers.
I am so excited to be a part of this campaign effort; this is our time in the Lobero’s history to make a difference and create our own legacy for future generations.
If you look around the theatre, you can see the signs of age and wear in the iconic ceiling mosaic, on the walls, in the carpet and the seats. Today we can honor those who came before us and ensure that this George Washington Smith venue continues to shines like the gem that it is.
“Everyone was approached…and everyone gave”
In the early 1920′s, the campaign to re-build the Lobero Theatre was the result of broad community support. In fact, former Board President Ernestine Koefed noted, “Everyone was approached for a contribution and everyone gave.”
Now it’s our turn. The Lobero has always been Santa Barbara’s cultural heart: our performing arts venue, town hall, political rallying place, occasional church and even a shelter after the 1925 earthquake. I know you agree with me that it is worthy of our support.
How you can help
The early focus of the campaign has been on leadership gifts with all members of the Board, full time staff and some close members of the Lobero family having pledged. With pledges in hand for $6 million, we are sincerely grateful for their early leadership and optimistic that we will reach our goal. Real success will be measured by the breadth of community participation and, as in 1922, we hope all will hear the call and lend a hand.