Sebastiani Theatre

476 First Street East,
Sonoma, CA 95476

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Related Websites

The Sebastiani Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (First Run), Movies (Foreign)

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 707.996.2020

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News About This Theater

Sebastiani Theatre

I happened upon this treasure on a trip through the California wine country. Located on the east side of the plaza in the town of Sonoma, this theatre was built by August Sebastiani of the Sebastiani wine growing family in 1933. It was opened on April 7, 1934. Correct me if I’m wrong on the architecture, but it looks Italian Renaissance to me.

No one at the local tourist office could tell me much about it. It serves a multiple use of showing blockbuster movies, foreign films and live theatrical events.

Contributed by Reid Sondrup

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

GaryParks on October 28, 2003 at 12:40 pm

The architects were James and Merrit Reid. This was the last of many Bay Area theatres to be designed by them. Merrit died while the theatre was in the works, and James closed their office, though he lived on into the 1940s.

To my knowledge, this is the only one of their theatres which still has its original marquee.

The soft polychromatic paint finishes on the textured wall surfaces in the auditorium are original.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2005 at 4:54 pm

Here is an indirectly related link with some information on this theater:

View link

johnnyeponymous on March 13, 2006 at 2:57 pm

The Sonoma Valley Film Festival uses the Sabastiani as one of the signature venues for the festival. I’ve seen only one film there, the 2004 documentary Confessions of a Burning Man, and the theatre was wonderful. They have several photos up that document the theatre’s history.

jwilcox on January 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Very nostalgic at finding this site. I was the projectionist there 1967-68.

kashmere on March 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

Wordmason, could you email me at ? I want to ask you some questions regarding this theater’s history. I am currently working on a book and I would appreciate any info you could give me. Thanks!

Skyla on June 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I use to go the the Sebastiani Theatre when I grew up in Sonoma from 1951 to 1960 (my first movie here was “Vengeance Valley” with Burt Lancaster) and have great memories of this place. Last time I went here to see a movie was “Babe, Pig in the City” on a Saturday afternoon in 2000 when I was in town for a high school reunion that night. The place hadn’t seemed to have changed much. I am glad it is still in operation, and, as I see, it is also used for live performances, it would be great to revisit and be able to appear in a stage play here some day as it was in this theatre on those long ago Friday nights that I was first inspired to be an actor and have been lucky enough to see that dream realized. Great memories of a really neat place. Tom Goldrup.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 7:28 am

A few 2011 photos can be seen here, here and here.

DavidZornig on October 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

2016 photo added, photo credit Terry Koenig.

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