Arcata Playhouse – Building Community Through The Arts
Presenting a wide array of events including live theater, music, variety arts, poetry, speakers and films, the Arcata Playhouse is a cultural hub for the community. The venue is regularly used by local organizations for everything from weddings to elementary school plays to environmental documentaries to outrageous craft competitions (Rebel Craft Rumble). The Playhouse is also dedicated to its youth programs with youth workshops, a teen program, an artists in the schools program and a family performance series.
The purpose of Playhouse Arts, is to build community through the arts, working to create a society that is inspired and empowered to work together for the common good in meaningful and effective ways. To accomplish this purpose, Playhouse Arts, as the LAA, works to increase collaboration with the city to support and promote community arts. We provide an intimate performing arts center, the Arcata Playhouse, with low-cost rental fees, two audio studios and a community visual art studio.We present original theater productions, an in-class and after-school youth program, outdoor spectacles, public art and national and international artists. We advocate for artists and work to be an anti-racist, environmentally conscious organization.
Short History of the Arcata Playhouse
The Arcata Playhouse moved into the Creamery Building’s theater space, once known as Pacific Arts Center Theater, in the fall of 2006 and opened its doors as the Arcata Playhouse in February, 2007. In the beginning the space was shared with Vagabond Children’s Theater. Vagabond and the Playhouse co-existed for the first year until Vagabond turned over operations to the Playhouse.
Within the first year the Arcata Playhouse formed the non-profit organization, Playhouse Arts, and established itself as a community arts center that would come to provide events and programs for youth, families and adults while making its spaces available to a wide array of local organizations. See our Programs pages for more information on what we do.
The history of the Creamery Building itself is a rich and fascinating one. The building was designed by prominent Eureka architect Franklin Georgeson and constructed in 1918 to house Central California Creameries. The creamery business produced cheese and dried milk from 1919 through the late 1950s. The Arcata Roller Rink used the building in the 1960s. Subsequently, the space now occupied by the Arcata Playhouse has housed a martial arts studio, a Zen Center school, the Pacific Art Center theater and Vagabond Children’s Theater.