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Del Mar Theatre

Constructed in 1936, the Del Mar was the last movie palace constructed in Santa Cruz. The restoration and renovation project was a unique and innovative public-private partnership formed to rescue the art deco movie theater, which had been neglected, abandoned, and then closed in 1999. Renovation included restoration of the marquee, painting the front fac¸ade and the decorative relief as they were in the past. One of the more successful elements of the project included building an elevator up through the buildings interior making the theater accessible to the handicap community while preserving the original marquee and mezzanine. A new box office was designed and constructed, referencing the lost original stand-alone booth. Much of the original interior detail that remained was cleaned and touched up. The entry doors into the main auditorium were cut and rejoined such that when closed they appeared as original, but when open provide accessibility clearance.


  • Developer: City of Santa Cruz Development Agency / SWENSON
  • Architect: Lerner & Associates Architects, San Francisco
  • General Contractor: SWENSON
  • Location:1124 Pacific Garden Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA
  • DATA: 18,000 SF