Pasadena Playhouse

State Theatre of California

The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 and is the official State Theatre of California. In recent years, The Playhouse has become instrumental in launching new works and landmark revivals for the American theatre. The Playhouse has displayed a commitment to cultural and theatrical diversity, which is reflected in seasons featuring Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning plays.


The Pasadena Playhouse has a rich and vibrant history dating back to 1917 when an itinerant acting troupe by the name of the Gilmor Brown Players settled in Pasadena – at the time a sleepy little town of farmers and wealthy vacationers. The town fell in love with the Players and before they had spent ten years here, locals donated the money to move the company out of the derelict old burlesque house they had been renting and into the newly constructed Pasadena Playhouse in 1924, originally known as the Pasadena Community Playhouse. At the time, The Playhouse was the largest and most technically advanced venue on this side of the Mississippi. Its community theatre beginnings and the tremendous amount of local support led George Bernard Shaw to dub Pasadena "the Athens of the West," likening the enterprise to the ancient Festival Dionysia.

Free Theatre Tours

Free tours of the Pasadena Playhouse are offered with advanced reservations by phone at +1 (626) 921-1162. The tour offers architectural insights, historical information, visit the theatre's green room, Craftsman-style library, and the Carrie Hamilton Theatre. More

Venue Information

Max Capacity: 400

Indoor/Outdoor Space

Hotels Nearby

Hotel Constance

Langham Huntington Pasadena


  • Exclusive to Pasadena
  • Historic Building
  • Indoor Venue
  • Live Entertainment
  • Patio
  • Walking Distance to Convention Center

Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Molino
Pasadena, CA 91101

  • Phone: 626-356-7529