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$1 Million in State Funding for Pasadena Playhouse Restored in Governor Brown’s Revised Budget

An important $1 million allocation to The Pasadena Playhouse previously cut from the State’s budget was officially restored Thursday in Governor Jerry Brown’s May revisions.

The money had earlier been promised to fund the Playhouse’s extensive renovations being undertaken as the venue prepares for its 100th anniversary.

Last year, when California’s fiscal outlook was cloudy, Brown had originally pulled back on the funding. At the time Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Pasadena in the California Legislature, said the cut would have been very deep.

Yesterday, Holden was upbeat after the money was back in the budget.

“I applaud Governor Brown for restoring the one million in funds for the Pasadena Playhouse renovation projects that were cut in January’s budget proposal,” he said. “Since that time, I worked directly with the Pasadena Playhouse and the Governor’s office to secure the original funding amount.”

Earlier this month, Holden said, the Playhouse received $413,000 to pay off the money already spent.

“I’m proud to support the Playhouse as it celebrates its 100th Anniversary,” Holden said.

He was joined by State Senator Anthony Portantino, who also worked to help restore funds for the historic theatre and said Thursday, “I’m very pleased and grateful that the Governor restored the funding for this outstanding project in the 25th State Senate District.”

“The Pasadena Playhouse is a gem in the City of Pasadena,” said Eric Duyshart, Economic Development Department Manager, in response to the news. “As the Official State Theatre of California, it’s part of California’s appreciation for theater art, and we’re happy that we have one of the State’s regional gems right here in Pasadena.”

The Pasadena Playhouse’s origins dates back to 1917 when an itinerant acting troupe by the name of the Gilmor Brown Players began producing plays for an audience of farmers and wealthy vacationers. It has since launched the careers of scores of noted actors and actresses, including Charles Bronson, Leonard Nimoy, Dustin Hoffman, and Angela Bassett.

The 650-seat Pasadena Playhouse was designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style by Pasadena artist and architect Elmer Grey and built in 1924.

Over the nine decades since, the stage as seen world premieres by luminary playwrights including Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, William Saroyan, Noel Coward, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

As excerpted from Pasadena Now