SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Carey Upton, Theatre Operations              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.395.3204, ext. 417                                                      01 MAR 2010

 

WelCOME BACK BARNUM HALL!

A Concert to Celebrate Barnum Hallís Restoration, Renovation, & the Installation of the Wurlitzer Theater Organ donated by Gordon Belt

 

Last summer, a renovated 1921 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ donated by Gordon Belt was installed in Barnum Hall. The return of this outstanding pipe organ completes the renovation of the Hall.  This concert is an opportunity to thank all of the people who were instrumental in restoring Barnum Hall. 

 

Barnum Hall was built in 1937 by the Works Project Administration (WPA).  Built on the expanding Santa Monica High School campus, it was designed to be a cultural magnet for Santa Monica Ė to support school and community performing arts events.  Designed by the architecture firm of Marsh, Smith & Powell, Barnum Hall was one of the finest Art Deco theaters of its time, designed in the Streamline Moderne style mirrored throughout Santa MonicaEminent Southern California artist, Stanton MacDonald Wright directed leading WPA artisans to create the Viking mural on the fire curtain and the mosaic in the lobby.  The hall was renamed in 1944, when it was dedicated to the memory of Samohiís distinguished principal, William F. Barnum, who had helped plan it.

 

By 1994, Barnum Hall had fallen into disrepair and the Northridge Earthquake destroyed the original pipe organ.  A coalition of citizens, parents, alumni, faculty and elected officials worked tirelessly for years to generate the funds to restore the Hall.  The volunteer group Restore Barnum Hall! raised awareness in the community and more than $1 million to restore the hall.  The City of Santa Monica donated $1.1 million. Santa Monica & Malibu Voters approved Proposition X, which also leveraged state bond funds to propel the renovation.  The hall reopened in 2002 with acoustical improvements, updated technical equipment, orchestra lift, and fly system along with restored interior and exterior returning it to performance quality.

 

Barnum Hall currently serves the activities of Santa Monica High School, the school district and many non-profit and professional organizations.  The hall offers a wide range of concerts, performances and lectures to the community.

 

The debut concert of this wonderful instrument will be on Monday, March 8 at 7:00 pm.  The concert is free - no ticket is needed.  Free parking is in the North Lot (enter off Olympic Blvd. from the 4th street intersection). Free handicapped parking is in the Barnum Hall lot off Olympic Blvd. 

 

The concert will feature:

            Internationally acclaimed theater organists Lyn Larson & Lance Luce

            A Laurel & Hardy silent film with organ accompaniment

            Santa Monica High Schoolís Wind Ensemble & student organists

 

Day and Time:  Monday, March 8, 7:00pm

Location:          Barnum Hall on the campus of Santa Monica High School

†††††††††††††††††††††††† 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

Information:      310-255-0445

Admission:       Free

 

Contact:            Carey Upton, Director of Theatre Operations

                       310-395-3204 x417, cupton@smmusd.org

 

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org