Visit Pasadena Playhouse District

Pasadena Playhouse Village

Experience the Playhouse District – the best of Pasadena with a cultural twist. The Playhouse District is a cultural haven located in the center of Downtown Pasadena between Old Pasadena and the South Lake District.

Covering 32 city blocks stretching from Los Robles to the east of Lake Avenue, the Playhouse District is home to world-class theatre, art galleries, cultural facilities, Zagat-rated dining facilities, and much more.

The Playhouse District evolved during the 1920s as the City blossomed eastward with retail, business, professional and cultural activities along Colorado Boulevard. During the 1920s and 30s, the construction of residential, religious, and cultural facilities was spurred by the change in Pasadena’s economy from architecture to tourism along with the development of Pasadena’s grand and imposing Civic Center. The District still retains many of the original buildings built during this period, and a significant portion of the District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

The Playhouse District invites you to experience its undeniably inspiring and charming locale. Located within an easy stroll from Pasadena City Hall and Downtown hotels, the District offers an intimate scene where art, architecture, and culture abound and where local businesses continue Pasadena’s tradition of personal and friendly service.

Attractions

There’s something for everyone at the Playhouse District! Whether you are looking for award-winning theatre productions, Zagat-rated dining facilities, or specialty retail locations, chances are you’ll find it here.

Visit the award-winning theatre institutions including the Pasadena Playhouse, the Boston Court Performing Arts Complex, and the Furious Theatre. Dine at one of our fine dining establishments and quaint cafes.

Walk over to the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) and the USC Pacific Asia Museum to view the latest in contemporary and Asian-inspired art. Stop in at one of our galleries or showrooms to see one-of-a-kind pieces. The Southern California Children’s Museum opened in the Playhouse District in March 2016.

Pasadena ARTWalk is Pasadena’s largest urban art fair with over 5,000 people attending yearly. The event highlights some of the best Southern Californian visual artists showcasing their work in painting, sculpture, watercolor, photography, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, drawings, and printmaking. ARTWalk is free and all ages are welcome.

Make sure to visit Vroman’s, Pasadena’s bookstore mecca, and Southern California’s largest and oldest independent bookstore since 1894.

Cultural Entertainment

Boston Court Performing Arts Center
70 N Mentor Ave.
626/683-6883

Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 Cinemas
673 E Colorado Blvd.
626/844-6500

Pasadena Playhouse
39 S El Molino Ave.
626/356-7529

Regency Academy Cinemas
1003 E Colorado Blvd.
626/229-9400

The Ice House Comedy Club
24 N Mentor Ave.
626/577-1894

Museums

Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 E Union St.
626/568-3665

USC Pacific Asia Museum
46 N Los Robles Ave.
626/449-2742

Event Venues

Looking for the perfect venue for a wedding, reunion, or conference? The Playhouse District has a number of great venues to select from! Whether you are looking for an open-air to an intimate or large scale, the Playhouse District has something to fit your needs. We look forward to having you create long-lasting memories here.

The Playhouse District has a variety of locations to make any special event perfect with large to small scale venue rentals.

  • Boston Court Performing Arts Center
  • El Portal
  • Ice House Comedy Club
  • USC Pacific Asia Museum
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art
  • Pasadena Playhouse
  • Roy’s Restaurant
  • Pasadena Scottish Rite
  • University Club

Historic Self-Guided Tour

Pasadena is vibrant with history! The Playhouse District evolved during the 1920s as a major concentration of retail, business, professional and cultural activities along Colorado Boulevard. The District still retains many of the original buildings built during this period, and a significant portion of the District has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1994. The development of the District marked the beginning of an eastward growth of the City which included the construction of the historic Playhouse Theatre Building, the “State Theatre of California,” in 1925.

The Playhouse District has a Historic Architecture Walking Tour that provides you with an understanding of the rich history and beautiful architectural landscape that is within our district. The walking tour takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Directions

Getting to the Playhouse District

Getting to the Playhouse District is easy. Whether you are coming to explore the beautiful architecture of the area, meeting friends, or to watch a play, there is something for everyone.

The District is easily accessible south of the 210 freeway, off of the Lake Ave exit.

Parking

The Playhouse District has plentiful public parking spaces with two city-owned lots, several private parking lots/garages, and on-street parking year-round.

parking map of pasadena playhouse district

Free Street Parking

1 hour free street parking

Parking Garages & Surface Parking Lots

There are several parking areas just north or south of Colorado Blvd. at reasonable rates with a maximum day rate of $4 and up to accommodate visits longer than 1 hour. These parking areas are withing an easy stroll to Playhouse District shopping, dining, and entertainment. Please see map for public parking areas.

Public Transportation

Options in Pasadena include the city-run Pasadena Transit, the Foothill Transit, and the Metro Gold Line. The City of Pasadena’s bus system, Pasadena Transit travels throughout the downtown area. Route 10 and 20 run through the District. The Foothill Transit and Metro buses also operate throughout the city. Visit their sites for specific route information.

The Metro Gold Line

The Gold Line runs through Pasadena. The Memorial Park and Lake Avenue station stops will get you to the Playhouse District. Make sure to visit the METRO trip planner for more customized directions.

Biking

The Southern California climate makes it easy to bicycle in the city. Bicycling is a practical and easy mode of transportation that’s both economical and healthy. The City of Pasadena has designated bike routes and lanes.

ZipCar

ZipCar provides time-share car rentals on a per-use basis. Cars are located through downtown Pasadena and in many other cities. Rates start at $9 per hour plus application and administration fees. Visit zipcar.com for more information.

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