Golden State Theatre

Sit back, relax and enjoy the show at Monterey’s legendary movie palace, which has been delighting theatergoers since 1926. 

Settle into your plush velvet seat at the Golden State Theatre and wait for the red curtains to open. You will quickly realize that the show you are seeing almost takes a backseat to the opulent setting. This movie palace in Monterey, California is a relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age. 

In 1926, a palatial building was erected on Alvarado Street. Although it looked more like a Moorish castle than a cinema, the Golden Gate Theatre was actually the largest movie theater between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It had 1,600 seats, which was nearly a quarter of Monterey’s population at the time. The theater fell on difficult times toward the middle of the century, but has recently been restored to its original splendor. 

The design is intended to make visitors feel like they are sitting in an airy Spanish courtyard; that ambiance remains. An intricate fresco gives off the impression of sun and sky peeking in from the ceiling. Look for the replica of the legendary Wurlitzer pipe organ that flanks the stage.  

Today, the theater has largely replaced film with live performances. Blues legend B.B. King and the stage production of Les Misérables are just a few of the acts that have appeared at Golden State Theatre. It hosts world-class talent from the music, theater, dance and stand-up spheres. You can still watch a movie here, with special showings and film schedules several times a year.

With such a regular influx of talent at the Golden State Theatre, it’s best to call the box office or visit its website for an up-to-date performance schedule. Purchase tickets online or at the theater. For more popular shows it is advisable to buy them in advance.

There is no on-site parking for Golden State Theatre but between street parking and public parking garages, it isn’t difficult to find a place to park your car in Monterey. 

Golden State Theatre is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Monterey. Enjoy the city’s coastal location at the beautiful Pebble Beach, which is located just 5.3 miles (8.5 kilometers) away.


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