top of page


A Snapshot from the Civic’s Colorful 75-Year History

old civic photo sepia.jpg

A three-day fete celebrated the grand opening of the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

The Civic Auditorium hosts a druid festival.

A rock and roll concert at the Civic is shut down by police because of dancers' "obscene and suggestive" dance moves.

The Santa Cruz Symphony plays its first concert at the Civic Auditorium, to a crowd of 2000 people!

Carillon bells are installed at the Civic, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is founded.

Miss Santa Cruz moves to the Civic Auditorium after taking place at the Boardwalk since 1924.

Santa Cruz Ballet Theater is founded. Their popular Nutcracker is now performed at the Civic Auditorium each year with a live orchestra.

The Civic hosts its last Miss California Pageant. The feminist Myth California protests lead by Ann Simonton and Nikki Craft put pressure on the pageant to acknowledge its objectification of young women, and the pageant moved partially to avoid the critical demonstrations.

The Civic Auditorium served as a shelter for people displaced by the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The Cabrillo Festival and the Santa Cruz Symphony partner with the city to do an acoustic retrofit for the Civic Auditorium, and make the Civic their permanent home.

Ralph Nader makes a stop at the Civic Auditorium during his presidential campaign. He says "You Santa Cruzans probably don't realize how rare it is to have an auditorium close to the city hall."

Santa Cruz celebrates the Civic’s 75th anniversary and renovation studies are announced.

Friends of the Civic Auditorium launches to advocate for renovation.

bottom of page