Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

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Coordinates: 36°58′26″N 122°01′45″W / 36.97395°N 122.0292°W / 36.97395; -122.0292 The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium is an event and convention venue located in downtown Santa Cruz, California. It is owned by the City of Santa Cruz and is located at 307 Church Street. Opened in 1940, it was built in what was described as "mission style in architecture with a modern touch and an arrangement of open porches on the corners and sides."[1] Its style has also been described as Art Deco.[2] It is the home of the Santa Cruz County Symphony as well as other concerts, expos, conferences, and sporting events. A carillon was installed in 1963.[3]

The Civic Auditorium was the site of the annual Miss California beauty pageant until 1985, when the pageant left Santa Cruz after years of protests and a "Myth California" counterpageant organized by local feminist activists led by Ann Simonton and Nikki Craft.[4][5] In 1956, it was the location of a rock and roll concert that drew national attention after the local police stopped the event because of what they characterized as the dancers' "suggestive, stimulating and tantalizing motions".[6][7] The auditorium was used as a temporary shelter for displaced and homeless people following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.[8]


  1. ^ Bruce Bratton, "Civic Virtues: Rare among town halls, the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium has held a central place in the area's cultural and political life for 60 years", Metro Santa Cruz, March 29, 2000.
  2. ^ Bezore, Buz; Waters, Christina (2005). Explorer's Guide Big Sur, Monterey Bay & Gold Coast Wine Country. Woodstock, Vermont: The Countryman Press. p. 102. 
  3. ^ Traci Hukill, "Mystery of the Bells", Metro Santa Cruz, December 12, 1996.
  4. ^ Bacon, Amity (2005-05-22). "Miss California Pageant united the community and served as a platform for protest". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  5. ^ Kirsten Anderberg, "Radical body politics for women", 2004.
  6. ^ "June 3, 1956: Rock and roll is banned in Santa Cruz, California", (accessed 2012-08-24).
  7. ^ "Will Not Ban Rock, Roll Music in Santa Cruz", Associated Press in The Robesonian, June 7, 1956.
  8. ^ Tubbesing, Susan K (1994). "The Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989 - Loss estimation and procedures". U.S. Geological Survey professional paper 1553-A. U.S. Department of the Interior. 

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