Theatre History


Originally built as a 1928 vaudeville house and movie palace, the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts today plays an important role in the revitalization of downtown San Bernardino. It is the performance home for Theatrical Arts International, the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Mexicana, and other community-based arts groups.

The 1,718-seat auditorium, which has played host to major screen and stage stars and is where American humorist Will Rogers made his final stage appearance, is operated by the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. The performance season includes concerts, plays, children’s theater, dance, Broadway musicals, celebrity headliners and ballet.

San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

The San Bernardino Symphony was founded in 1929 by Maestro James K. Guthrie, an internationally renowned conductor and community leader.

Today, the Orchestra, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the region, consistently reaches unmatched standards of musical performance under the dynamic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Frank Fetta.

Five annual concerts are held at the historic California Theatre in downtown San Bernardino; but the Symphony also performs throughout the region - often free of charge to attendees - thus allowing us to fulfill our mission of making symphonic music readily accessible to the diverse populations of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

We also maintain Maestro Guthrie's vision of providing music in the schools through our acclaimed educational programs and maintenance of an extensive music library regularly utilized by many educational entities.

Mighty Wurlitzer Organ


Music – and history – come to brilliant and melodic life whenever the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ is played in the California Theatre of the Performing Arts in downtown San Bernardino, 562 W. Fourth St. The organ is still played today in silent film programs.

The theater was originally built as a vaudeville house and movie palace in 1928, and the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ still resides its original theater home, the only one in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to do so, and one of the very few in Southern California.