Balboa Theatres 100 Anniversary Celebration Logo

Celebrating 100 Years

Celebration at a Glance


From March 28-30, 2024, the San Diego community gathered to celebrate the monumental centennial anniversary of the Balboa Theatre in a vibrant multicultural celebration! Since its inception as a vaudeville and cinema theater in 1924, this iconic venue has evolved into a beloved cornerstone of our city's cultural landscape.

Over three captivating days, artists from diverse backgrounds and cultures united to honor a century of artistic excellence at the Balboa Theatre, recognizing its multifaceted contributions as an integral part of San Diego’s artistic community.


100th Anniversary Gala

The festivities began with a glamorous red carpet gala, featuring a captivating performance by the esteemed pianist, performer and playwright, Hershey Felder. Donors, special guests and nonprofit partners donned their finest attire, eagerly immersing themselves in an evening of musical splendor, singing along to timeless classics from The Great American Songbook.

100th Anniversary Gala Featuring Hershey Felder and the Great American Songbook


Centennial Salute

The subsequent day's Centennial Salute paid homage to the Balboa Theatre's silent film era origins and its historic role providing wartime lodging to local sailors during WWII. The screening of the silent film "The Flying Fleet" was accompanied by the melodic tones of the theatre’s antique Wonder Morton organ, skillfully played by the renowned organist, Ken Double.

Centennial Salute Honoring San Diego’s Military at Balboa Theatre


Toons & Tunes

In recognition of the theatre's pivotal role as a cultural epicenter, the final day celebrated the diverse audiences and performances that have graced its stage over its one-hundred-year history. During Toons and Tunes, families reveled in a screening of classic cartoons featuring beloved characters like Felix the Cat, Popeye and Mighty Mouse, accompanied by the whimsical sounds of the theatre's historic organ.

Toons and Tunes A Morning of Family Fun


San Diego Spotlight

Reflecting the vibrant diversity of the city's social landscape, the San Diego Spotlight unveiled an extraordinary cast of musicians, singers and dancers, fitting for the celebration's curtain call and grand finale. The stage came alive with performances as diverse as the talented individuals themselves, encapsulating the unique essence of the theatre's century-long journey through different eras.

San Diego Spotlight A Community Showcase at Balboa Theatre

Proceeds from the gala and multi-day fundraiser were dedicated to the Balboa Theatre Grant Fund, supporting local nonprofit partners' access to the theatre's spaces and services, fostering the flourishing of theatre within our community.

Delve into the milestone’s commemorative booklet, celebrating a century of iconic performances and cultural landmark while discovering the captivating story of the Balboa Theatre's 100-year journey!

Take home your own copy of this commemorative booklet and other official Balboa Theatre 100th Anniversary special occasion merchandise to own a piece of theatre history.