Plaza Playhouse Theater

4916 Carpinteria Avenue,
Carpinteria, CA 93013

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Plaza Playhouse Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Metropolitan Theatres, Pussycat Theatres

Functions: Concerts, Live Theater, Movies (Independent), Special Events

Previous Names: Alcazar Theatre, Ritz Theatre, Del Mar Theatre, Plaza Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 805.684.6380

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News About This Theater

Plaza Playhouse Theater

This little theatre in this small town just south of Santa Barbara first opened its doors on April 27, 1928 as the 337-seat Alcazar Theatre. The opening movie was “The Fifty-Fifty Girl” starring Bebe Daniels. It was managed by Oliver ‘Ollie’ Prickett, a Hollywood character actor, who had a recurring role as Geoduck, the neighbor to Ma & Pa Kettle. Around 1936/1937 it was renamed Ritz Theatre. By 1939 it operated as the Del Mar Theatre, a name it kept until at least 1957. It was operating as the Plaza Theatre in 1972 and in the late-1970’s it was operated by the Pussycat Theatres chain.

Closed for several years it fell into a state of disrepair. It was extensively remodeled and renovated, and reopened by Metropolitan Theatre Corp. as of November 2005. They cancelled their lease on the theater due to low revenue and it closed on September 9, 2010.

The Plaza Playhouse Theater has been operating as a non-profit community playhouse since October 2010. They offer movies, live theater, concerts and community events. The Plaza Playhouse Theater is currently managed by an all volunteer staff and board.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

MagicLantern on May 16, 2005 at 4:23 am

You missed the last night at The Palm, Ken! No more straight porno theatres in California! When are you coming back out?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 16, 2005 at 4:51 am

I’m coming back out in June (to NYC then onto LA and San Diego). The Tiki Theatre is still operating in LA (as far as I know?).

MagicLantern on May 16, 2005 at 12:34 pm

Yes, but the Tiki is more like a storefront conversion – not to cast aspersions, though. The Palm was more like the Monica / Tomkat.

MagicLantern on November 4, 2005 at 7:18 am

This theatre, restored and now operated by Metropolitan, reopens today with a screening of “Chicken Little” – replete with Dolby Digital, cup holders and 209 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 5, 2005 at 6:19 pm

90 years seems a bit old for a theatre in Carpenteria, which was a pretty small place for the first couple of decades of the 20th century, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it dated to the 1920s, when the development of local oil fields brought a sudden increase in the town’s wealth and population. The growing number of automobiles and improvement of the coast highway would have made Carpenteria more easily accessible to people from other, smaller towns along that stretch of coast about that time, too, making for a larger pool of theatre customers.

kencmcintyre on February 3, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Here is a photo of the Plaza when it was called the Alcazar, circa 1928:

MagicLantern on February 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

The text beneath that photograph indicates that the Ritz was another name for this theatre.

CSWalczak on September 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Closed by Metropolitan as of September 9, 2010: View link

MagicLantern on February 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Open again as the Plaza Playhouse Theater. Looks to be a mix of stand-up comedy, theater and live performances.

PlazaPlayhouse on October 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The Plaza Playhouse Theater is operating as a non-profit community playhouse and has been since October of 2010. We offer classic movies, live theater and concerts of all kinds. The theater opened on April 27, 1928 as the Alcazar. Managed by Oliver “Ollie” Prickett, Hollywood character actor, who had a recurring role as “Geoduck”, the neighbor to Ma and Pa Kettle. Through the past 84 years, the theater changed hands and names and also fell into disrepair. Metropolitan Theater Corp. came in and performed an extensive remodel, but cancelled their lease in 2010 due to low revenue…Carpinteria is a small town, and Metropolitan simply couldn’t keep up with the studio required license fees. The Plaza Playhouse is currently managed by an all volunteer staff. Further details about the theater and our schedule can be found on our website at

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