The Most Iconic Theater Venues in Southern California

Discover seven iconic theater venues located throughout Southern California that offer unforgettable experiences for music lovers! From intimate atmospheres to large-scale events - find out which venues are must-sees!

The Most Iconic Theater Venues in Southern California

Southern California is home to some of the most renowned and iconic theater venues in the world. From the Casbah in San Diego to the Fox Theater in Los Angeles, these venues have hosted some of the most legendary musical acts and performances. Whether you're looking for an intimate atmosphere or a large-scale event, these seven venues are sure to provide an unforgettable experience. The Casbah, located near downtown San Diego, has a long history of hosting iconic bands such as Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins.

In recent years, they have presented several musical groups such as Band of Horses, The Black Keys, MGMT and Postal Service. With its new location and doubled capacity in 1994, The Casbah continues to provide intimate performances for decades to come. The Hotel Café is situated between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, right along the infamous Cahuenga Boulevard. This unique venue offers two stages that allow twice as many musical performances and specializes in emerging underground artists.

Before becoming wildly popular, Sia, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and Lana Del Rey all performed at this venue. With a reduced audience capacity on each stage (around 200 for the main stage and only 85 for the second stage), this venue offers an unusual level of exclusivity that should not be missed. The Hollywood Bowl opened in 1922 and has been a Southern California classic ever since. This outdoor amphitheater is one of the most popular places, thanks to its long list of renowned artists, emerging artists and its large audience capacity.

Legends such as The Beatles, Billie Holiday, Carlos Santana and Leon Bridges have all performed under its cloak of concentric arches. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery has become one of the favorite places to watch summer movie series and incredible concert programs in the Los Angeles area. In addition to being the most emblematic resting place of the Hollywood elite, the place is also an independent music center, having recently introduced The Weeknd, Belle and Sebastian, and Hozier. It is undoubtedly the most peculiar music venue in Hollywood.

Built in 1936, the Santa Barbara Bowl offers one of the best outdoor concert experiences in the state. This hidden gem of Santa Barbara is often home to independent musicians and a wide range of reggae and fusion rock bands. Artists such as Jack Johnson, The xx, Young the Giant, The 1975 and Rebelution have all taken the stage here. Relax and enjoy the sounds of renowned artists while you savor the California atmosphere.

The Fillmore was built in 1912 and began as a very popular ballroom. In the 1950s, it began hosting renowned artists, establishing itself as one of the best live music venues in San Francisco. Music icons such as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and The Who have made appearances here, along with a host of other artists such as The White Stripes, The Cure and Bad Suns. San Francisco's oldest nightclub also offers an elaborate ceiling with marble columns and stunning wrap-around balconies that provide a beautiful backdrop for any musical experience. The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theater (known locally as The Greek) is undoubtedly the most popular music venue in Berkeley and its surrounding cities.

Located on the UC Berkeley campus, this theater can hold up to 8500 spectators at any time. Since its inauguration in 1903, it has hosted a series of festivals, concerts and ceremonies with the Berkeley Jazz Festival being the most popular. Artists who have performed at The Greek include Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Grateful Dead. The Berkeley Repertory Theater offers two stages for live performances and is the first resident professional theater in the area. The Golden Gate Theater has a rich history from its beginnings in the 1920s as a vaudeville theater to a movie theater and then a performing arts venue.

Across the street from UCLA is The Geffen Theater which often features local stars and talent in plays of varying content. The Fox Theater hosted the first silent movies and premiered a preview of Gone with the Wind in 1939. Although today it can accommodate nearly 3000 concert attendees, its architectural details create an intimate effect making it a must-see attraction in Oakland. The American Conservatory Theater is a non-profit theater that offers actor training and other programs that promote art of live theater. California is home to some of the best performance artists in the world with some major top-notch productions performing in local theaters throughout the year. Theater Irvine is a unique collaborative initiative between City of Irvine, University of California at Irvine and private sector with reputation for offering extensive programming in fields of contemporary dance, music and theater arts. Southern California offers some of best live entertainment experiences with its iconic theaters hosting legendary musicians throughout years. Whether known for their long list of previous performances or their intimate atmosphere that allows public to get up close with artists these California concert halls offer very memorable shows.