Playhouse Alley

The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 as the Pasadena Community Playhouse and soon moved into the former Savoy Theatre. The current building – at least part of it – opened in 1925 and was officially decreed the “State Theatre of California” in 1937. After nurturing dozens of stars including Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Leonard Nimoy, the Playhouse shuttered in 1969: founder/director Gilmor Brown had died in 1960 and the theater went downhill during the ensuing decade. It finally reopened in 1986 after years of fundraising and renovations. In September 1982, at the start of those renovations, the occasion was marked by rechristening Arcade Alley as Playhouse Alley. Actor Buddy Ebsen (The Beverly Hillbillies) and Playhouse alumna Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In) headlined the dedication ceremony.