Creative Enclave

The Playhouse District is an eclectic neighborhood that spawned around the Pasadena Playhouse in the 1920s by many of the creative people involved with the theatre. Today, the Playhouse District is the entertainment hub of Pasadena with a noticeable concentration of public art, street art, and niche independent businesses like a bookstore from 1894; an arthouse movie theater; a coffee shop, art galleries; a vinyl record store; a wine tasting bar; a jazz club; and a boutique hotel.

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Things to Do

Pasadena Playhouse: The neighborhood’s namesake is a Spanish Colonial Revival theatre featuring an ornate auditorium and a large courtyard. Free theatre tours are offered with advanced reservations. More→

Pasadena Museum of California Art: Contemporary art museum that features California art, architecture, and design. The museum’s parking structure is covered in street art by Kenny Scharf. More→

USC Pacific Asia Museum (pictured): The only university museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. More→

Boston Court Performing Arts Center: Performing arts center featuring two stages where visitors can experience theatre, music, dance and spoken word. This is the kind of performing arts space that thrives on presenting bold content. Details→

Ice House Comedy Club: Since the 1960s, legendary comics have continued to grace the stage of the Ice House. Details→

Festivals

The Long Table: Business owners and residents of the Playhouse District takeover a tree-lined portion of Green Street, a very long table is set up down the center of the street, several Playhouse District restaurants cater the seated dinner; preceded by a reception of beer, wine and cheese. More→

Make Music Pasadena: A music festival pops up in downtown Pasadena each summer, main stages are set on Colorado Boulevard including a Playhouse District Stage, and local bars and shops serve as satellite stages. Details→

Rose Parade: One of the highlights during Pasadena’s grand midwinter festival is the Rose Parade, where highly conceptual floats parade across the city, accompanied by enormours marching bands ad equestrian troupes. A good portion of the parade route runs through the Playhouse District. Details→

Summer Jazz Concerts: free outdoor jazz concerts take place in the Playhouse District from July to August. Details→

LitFest: A free literary festival where books and authors are celebrated. More→

Pasadena International Film Festival: lovers of independent film and short features takeover the Laemmle Playhouse 7 for eight days in March. Details→

ArtNight Pasadena: Most of Pasadena’s museums and cultural institutions host free events during one night in March and again in October. Free shuttles help get art lovers throughout the festival. Details→

Art Walk: An urban art fair which pops up each October, featuring the works of local artists. More→

Wine Walk: Stroll through art galleries and interesting spaces in the Playhouse District while you enjoy wine at each venue. Details→

Merry Merry Movie: Free holiday movie screening at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 followed by family activities at next door at Vroman’s Bookstore‘s seasonal Winter Wonderland. Details→

Thursday Night Music: Live music is performed in the alleyway just outside Zona Rosa Caffe every Thursday from April through mid-November, and food trucks are parked right in front of the coffee shop. Details→

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Hotels

dusitD2 Hotel Constance: Modern boutique hotel housed in a historic building from the Roaring Twenties. Details→

Hilton Pasadena: The forward-thinking brand’s Pasadena hotel is located a block from the Pasadena Convention Center. Details→

Restaurants

Maison Akira: A fine-dining restaurant featuring a Japanese-French fusion menu.

Sushi of Naples: A casual yet sophisticated traditional sushi restaurant and bar, frequented by locals.

redwhite+bluezz: A jazz bar and kitchen featuring live music, happy hour and brunch.

Roy’s: A Hawaiian fusion restaurant with a bar area and patio.

Avanti Cafe: A low key Italian spot that specializes in California-style pizza fired in a wood burning oven.

Coffee Shops

Zona Rosa Caffe: An independent coffee shop inspired by Mexico City’s eclectic neighborhood of the same name. Find organic, fair trade coffee from Latin regions of the world.

Urth Caffe: A popular Los Angeles coffeehouse and cafe featuring organic food, coffee, and lots of vegitarian options.

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Public Transportation

The Playhouse District is a walkable neighborhood serviced by several public transportation agencies, the best route can easily be found by using Google Maps→

Metro Gold Line

LA’s growing light rail system runs through Pasadena — Memorial Park Station and Lake Station are the best stops to get you to the Playhouse District. Details→

Metro Bus Routes

180 & 180 Hollywood↔Pasadena
256 Altadena↔Commerce
267 Pasadena↔Altadena↔City of Hope↔El Monte
686 Altadena↔Pasadena
780 Pasadena↔Hollywood↔WeHo↔Mid-City

Pasadena Transit

Bus routes 10 and 20 service the Playhouse District. Details→

Foothill Transit

Line 187: Montclair→Pasadena

Website

playhousedistrict.org