Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Santa Monica History Museum Presents New Exhibit


October 6, 2014

The Santa Monica History Museum is debuting an exhibit that highlights and celebrates the performances at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. In the summer of 1958, Santa Monica inaugurated a 3,000 seat cultural mecca, just two blocks from the ocean. Throughout its 55 years as a cultural venue, the Civic hosted everything from the concerts of Eric Clapton, the Beach Boys, and Marvin Gaye to the Academy Awards of the 1960s to the Dalai Lama's "Wheel of Time" initiation ceremony. From its celebrated mid-century modern International Style architecture to its innovative main floor, the Civic was adaptable to a variety of cultural affairs.

Cultural Mecca will explore the social and cultural impact the Civic had on Santa Monica's and greater Los Angeles' cultural fabric. Supported by historical photographs and artifacts, visitors will return to the cultural mecca of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

On view at the Santa Monica History Museum from October 25 January 24, Cultural Mecca chronicles the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium's fascinating history.

The exhibit will highlight the performances hosted by the Civic Auditorium, including the TAMI Show in 1964, the Academy Awards in the 1960s, and the pop and rock bands from the 1970s into the 2000s.

Prior to exhibit opening, the Museum will participate in a fun and informative panel with the Santa Monica Public Library on October 21, 2014 at 7:00PM. Held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium at the main branch of the Santa Monica Public Library, speakers will re-visit the music, the fans, and the cutting-edge technology that drew so many top performers to the Civic Auditorium stage.

Museum Manager and Exhibit Curator, Danielle Lewis states "The Civic really was a dynamic cultural center for the city of Santa Monica. What fascinates me most about it is that you can trace the evolution of popular music through the performers at the Civic. From the big name performers of the 60s and 70s to the punk scene that breathed new life into the venue in the 80s, the Civic is a really good barometer of the music scene in Los Angeles and Santa Monica."

The museum is open Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 8 pm, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am-5pm. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.

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