The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium opened in 1958 as a public gathering place dedicated to cultural, educational and community events. Designed by noted architect Welton Beckett, the classic Streamline Moderne building, serves as the architectural focus of the southern boundary of the Civic Center.
The Civic Auditorium’s unique hydraulic floor allows the Civic to convert from a performance space to an exhibit space. This flexibility meets the multiple needs of events and entertainment – from performing arts to trade shows and conventions; from film and television production to exhibit shows and lectures.
The Civic’s rich history includes fame as the site of the 1961—1968 Academy Awards, home of the acclaimed Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, and over two decades as a concert venue for memorable performances from diverse artists like James Brown, Sarah Vaughn, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, the Clash, David Bowie, Elton John and Bob Dylan. The Civic also serves the local community, with events for the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District and local non-profits.
The Civic Auditorium hosts trade shows and consumer exhibit shows, ranging from the International Gem & Jewelry Show to the Contemporary Crafts Market, bringing thousands of visitors to Santa Monica.
It is located at 1855 Main Street, just two blocks from the beach, with easy access to the 10 freeway, the 405 freeway, and Los Angeles International Airport.