Arlington Theatre

1317 State Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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Arlington Theatre - Santa Barbara, CA

This Mission Revival/Atmospheric styled theater built for the Fox West Coast Theaters circuit in 1931 has been beautifully restored.

The Arlington Theatre seats over 2,000 and its Atmospheric style interior is just one part of its majesty. After walking past the free-standing ticket booth, under the marquee and through the spanish courtyard and fountains, visitors enter the small lobby on their way into movie paradise.

Entering the theater, the auditorium is flanked on both sides by faux-spanish villas while lanterns, windows and staircases adorn both walls. The ceiling is also filled with twinkling stars that give the illusion that the viewer is watching a film in an outside courtyard.

The Arlington Theatre is a can’t miss experience and a beautifully restored example of the great Fox palaces of the past.

Recent comments (view all 59 comments)

bobbydias on December 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

In the 50s, while the now-Alington building was being stripped of the religious articles, the two owners of the building(and owners of the then-Arlington Theatre two blocks away) called and asked me to meet them in front of Grauman’s in Hollywood. They said to me they had noticed how I had created the front of the Santa Barbara Museum Of Art when I converted it from the old US Post Office to what it is then and now- but they liked the front of Grauman’s better and wanted my advice for the new Arlington. I gave it to them and they stayed with what they wanted- like the front of Grauman’s. They chose the same color as then of Grauman’s. They were so happy with their choice that I did not say that I had chosen the colors of the front of Grauman’s and had done the painting myself.

HowardBHaas on December 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

The current Arlington Theatre was built as a movie palace in 1931, not as a church.

bobbydias on December 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I did not say the building was built as a church. I said the present Arlington Theatre was changed from a church use to the present theatre use. The Arlington Theatre business was in a narrow building 2 blocks away when it moved to the present buildingfollowing the use of a church. What the present building was before what I knew it to be a church I do not know.You and I are talking about two different periods of time.

HowardBHaas on December 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

As William pointed out, this has always been the Arlington Theatre so not sure what you mean by another one with the same name 2 blocks away, or your church references. There are “Nearby Theatres” linked here, FYI. You are an architect? a decorator?

bobbydias on December 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

As I said, at one time the owners of the Arlington two blocks away moved the business. Considering what you say it is possible that the Arlinton was moved from the present location to the other location 2 blocks away and then back again. Or the Arlington is another business but of the same kind as the original movie house.For how long it was- I was told by a Presbyterian minister that the original business in the present Arlington Theatre was closed under a Red Light law. Maybe not. The Red Light law of the State of California was very vague.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

A few 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

bobbydias on May 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

1931 but not in this building. Newbies are ignorant little boys that need attention by repeating what others say.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Chuck, if you read about some of bobbydias' accomplishments (designing the Los Angeles Civic Center at the age of nine, founding the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at the age of twelve, personally working with eight U.S. Presidents, etc.), I think you’ll quickly understand where he is coming from, and why there is no point in trying to contradict him.

johninman on March 17, 2014 at 6:01 am

I grew up in this theater and those of Santa Barbara Co.Born in Santa Maria It’s theater of the same name was my second home;an old Victorian monstrosity,with plush seats and balcony and even opera style boxes an a huge red gum drop chandelier et al.I would go and sit in it just to take it all in.I went to the Fox A. in about 1955,I was 8, and of course was riveted by it’s interior the film was about a Maze were a mysterious monster lurked,a birth defect,it might have been a musty re-release,they did that[saw at Xmas break,“The Bishop’s Wife at The State Theater,down the street,1963/64].Does anyone here have archive of The Santa Maria Theater,or of it’s poor cousin the Studio?Ne` in Santa Maria July,‘47

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 17, 2014 at 7:34 am

johninman: Cinema Treasures page for the Santa Maria Theatre is at this link. We don’t yet have a listing for the Studio Theatre in Santa Maria.

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