In the early 1970s, a group of inspired local business people had a vision: build an outdoor theater to attract visitors and to enrich the lives of residents in the small, but growing, community of Solvang. Under the leadership of Roger Nielsen, Earl Petersen, and Royce Lewellen, a site was located, plans approved, and funds raised to break ground. The community rallied behind the project and, with Erling Pohls as contractor, local crafts persons and volunteers worked virtually around the clock to complete the 700-seat Solvang Festival Theater in just 58 days – a remarkable achievement and truly a labor of love.
Forty-six years later, the Solvang Festival Theater is the only performing arts facility of its kind on the Central Coast, providing a large open-air venue for audiences of all ages. Theater performances and events attract more than 40,000 patrons each year, who spend an estimated $1 million at local businesses.
Since opening in 1974, the Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA) summer season continues to be the theater’s primary attraction with professional productions of plays and musicals performing nightly. The last 20 years have seen the emergence of topflight Theater-produced concerts featuring well-known recording artists. Additionally, the summer Jazz & Beyond Series is scheduled on Sunday afternoons in the intimate Patron Garden.
The Solvang Festival Theater provides the venue for a growing number of community events that support local organizations and businesses.
Solvang Theaterfest, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation under the direction of the Solvang Theaterfest Board of Directors, owns, maintains, and operates the Solvang Festival Theater.
The mission of Solvang Theaterfest® is to provide a unique, live performing arts venue that promotes the highest quality experience for artists and audience members in a space that is safe and accessible to all. Our goal is to connect and enrich the community while encouraging the understanding, learning and appreciation of diverse ideas and cultures.
Our facilities are available for rent for community and private events. Visit our venue page for information on how you can bring your event to life in our theater or its grounds.