Arena Theater is a 1929-vintage vaudeville theater and film palace, restored in 1996 to an Art Deco style, state-of-the-art entertainment venue with generous support from local artisans and financial donations. Built next to the burned remains of Scott's Opera House, Arena Theater opened in 1929 as a vaudeville playhouse. In 1930 it was equipped for showing motion pictures; however after many years of service to the community, in 1995 it was condemned for structural shortcomings.
The non-profit community group, Arena Renaissance Company, rallied to the cause of earth-quake retrofitting by rewiring and otherwise restoring all aspects of the building to modern standards. In 1997, through the tremendous fund raising efforts and coordination by ARC, our community of builders, organizers, artists, generous financial contributors, and volunteer workers of all skill levels, rebuilt the theater into an extraordinary gem. Then again in 2012, Arena Theater averted a crisis when it learned that Hollywood's major movie studios would no longer be distributing 35mm prints of first run motion pictures, "evolving" to digital-only films. Due to the incredible generosity of the local community from Elk to Sea Ranch, Arena Theater raised $88,000 in six months and was able to purchase a state of the art digital projector.
With the latest technology and its superb acoustics, Arena Theater today is poised as one of the best, albeit small, entertainment venues, anywhere! It's able to accommodate between 175 and 250 people, for weekly first-run movies, documentaries, art and classic films, live telecasts of the Metropolitan Opera and the National Theater, in addition to live performances by excellent hardly-known local musicians as well as musical artists with international reputations and acclaim. Click here for the Arena Theater website.