An Architectural Jewel: Lobero Associates Still Serving the Theatre
“Welcome home!” exclaimed Lobero Associates President Mindy Denson as the group gathered for the first time since the pandemic. We were sitting under the new sail ceiling in the courtyard — a gift from the Associates to the Lobero Theatre. The sun and shade danced above us while a nice breeze flowed throughout. It’s a welcome change from the closed tent, if the weather cooperates.
The Lobero staff was also included in the luncheon. Lobero executive director David Asbell told us, “We used to say the Lobero was California’s oldest continuously operating theater, and no one ever argued the point. After some research we learned we’re the fourth oldest theater in the whole United States.” It was founded in 1873 and rebuilt in 1924, coinciding with the new festival Fiesta, or Old Spanish Days. It is recognized as an architectural jewel in both the city and state — a landmark. More than 70,000 people were attending events annually before the pandemic. There are many special anniversaries coming.
The Associates exist to aid the theater financially with whatever they are needing. Through the years they have created the courtyard behind the theater and added the tent, donated a grand piano, helped renovate the women’s restroom, and much more. They are noted for the “Hats Off” Luncheon and their Christmas Tea. They have managed to keep donations coming despite the shutdown. The entire arts community benefits from the work of these ladies. Thank you for all you do.