The Santa Paula Theater Center has been providing a first class local theater experience to Ventura County since 1985.
The Santa Paula Theater Center was formed in 1985 by veteran stage, film and TV actors Bill Lucking, and the late Dana Elcar, who were both then Santa Paula residents. The young theater group first provided productions and classes in the basement of First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula, moving to its present location in 1987.
Each season we produce five plays on our Main Stage to both engage and entertain our audiences. Our theater’s artistic team selects from a wide variety of plays, ranging from new works just released for production by small theaters, to period dramas, old favorite comedies, and mysteries of all kinds. Satisfying the theatrical desires of different generations of theatergoers is a happy challenge.
An in-house company produces plays on our Backstage providing a venue for a wide range of alternative theater heightened by the more intimate setting. We showcase original one-acts each year, producing works by Ventura County playwrights, as well as lesser known or edgier works. The space allows emerging actors, directors, and costume designers to hone their crafts.
We host acting classes for youth and adults as a way of involving the community and encouraging new talent. For anyone interested in the technical aspects of lighting, sound, set design and construction, our experienced volunteers are happy to train and add new members to the family.
The land previously housed locations and buildings of Gaston Melies’ silent film studio, The Star Film Stock Company, from 1911 to 1916 ( or 1913). After his departure to Hollywood, Alice Stowell Mc Kevitt, one of the founders of the Santa Paula Ebell Club purchased the property in 1916 to provide a home for the Club whose express purpose was to bring the cultural arts to Santa Paula.
One year later, in September of 1917, the club held its first meeting in this building. The building and grounds were owned by the McKevett Corporation and rented to the Club for $1 per year an arrangement that lasted approximately 70 years.
Our building was declared a County Landmark No. 76 in 1982, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places#89000949 in 1989 Ventura County Historical Landmark #76.. The building was made a landmark because of its importance in three areas: architecture, landscape architecture, and social history. The building is considered an outstanding example of Shingle Craftsman style. The architects were the noted Los Angeles firm of Sumner Hunt and Silas Burns, who also designed the Glen Tavern Inn, and the Los Angeles Ebell Club.