Staff Report

Supporters of the Solvang Festival Theater are creatively putting their fond memories and future dreams on the theater wall. As the days count down before the theater wall and the wood lighting poles will come down, supporters are using the wall surface to say farewell for now to part of a treasured community icon. Construction crews will arrive to start the demolition and rebuilding process of the 47-year old theater on Monday, September 13.

In anticipation of the upcoming closure for rebuilding, Solvang Theaterfest Board members and community volunteers came up with the plan to cover the wall with decorated picture frames. Community members can fill the frames with their artwork and writing. Some supporters brought clippings from 1974 newspaper articles describing the opening of the theater. Others used it as an opportunity to glue on photos of loved ones with whom they attended the theater in the past and who played a part in the theater’s history.

“We are so excited about what the rebuilt theater will bring to our community,” said Ann Foxworthy Lewellen, Vice-Chair of the Theaterfest Board of Directors and Chair of the “Imagine—Building the Future!” Capital Campaign. “It’s so very moving to read the comments and see the artwork that so many of our patrons have posted on the old wall.”

After almost 50 years, this part of the theater must be replaced to ensure a structurally sound and accessible facility with capacity for current technology that will improve the experience for audience members, artists, and students. The rebuilding is required to ensure the theater will continue to provide outstanding entertainment now and into the future. The project is slated to be completed by July of 2022.

Support for the rebuilding comes from community members, businesses and foundations which have now donated nearly 80 percent toward the targeted goal of $4.7 million to rebuild essential parts of the Solvang Festival Theater.

On Sunday, September 5, guests will have one more opportunity to add their memories to the wall when the Theaterfest welcomes Santa Barbara’s Doublewide Kings to perform in the Solvang Theaterfest Patron Garden. For more information on the Theater rebuilding project or to purchase tickets for the final concert before renovation, go to

Solvang Theaterfest is the 501 (C ) (3) nonprofit corporation that owns and operates Solvang Festival Theater. It is managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.
For more information, contact Solvang Theaterfest Executive Director Scott Coe at