1. The Old Globe

prac_info 1363 Old Globe Way • 619 234 5623 • Check event schedule •

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Every year 250,000 people attend performances at the three theaters in this complex: the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre, the intimate White Theatre, and the outdoor Davies Theatre, which hosts a Shakespeare festival in the summer.


The Old Globe, built in 1935

2. La Jolla Playhouse

prac_info La Jolla Village Dr at Torrey Pines Rd, UCSD Campus, La Jolla • 858 550 1010

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Gregory Peck, Mel Ferrer, and Dorothy McGuire founded this theater in 1947. All the Hollywood greats once performed here. Now affiliated with UCSD, many plays that debuted here have gone on to win the Tony.

3. San Diego Civic Theatre

prac_info 1100 3rd Ave • 619 570 1100

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If you missed the latest Broadway show, dont worry: chances are the touring company will perform at this grand theater. Featuring local talent and the world’s most acclaimed stars, the San Diego Opera stages four annual productions here.

4. Lyceum Theatre

prac_info 79 Horton Plaza • 619 544 1000

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Two theaters are part of the San Diego Repertory Theatre complex: the 550-seat Lyceum and the 270-seat Lyceum Space Theatre. Shows run from the experimental to multilingual performances and Shakespeare with a modern slant. In addition, the theater hosts visiting companies and art exhibitions.

5. Starlight Bowl

prac_info 2005 Pan American Plaza • 619 232 7827 •

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The San Diego Civic Light Opera performs summer Broadway shows in this idyllic Balboa Park setting. It is under a flight path, so plane-spotters cue the performers when to freeze. Audiences good-humoredly accept the interruptions.


Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay

6. Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay

prac_info 2241 Shelter Island Dr, Shelter Island • 619 224 3577

Google Map

From May to October, jazz, rock, comedy, blues, folk, and world music are performed in an outdoor 1,350-seat amphitheater next to San Diego Bay. Special packages to Humphrey’s Restaurant and Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn are available to patrons.

7. Theatre in Old Town

prac_info 4040 Twiggs St • 619 337 1525

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Only 250 amphitheater-style seats wrap around the stage of this theater in an Old Town barn. Leading local company Cygnet Theatre performs dramas, musicals, and comedies such as The History Boys, A Little Night Music, and A Christmas Carol.

8. Spreckels Theatre

prac_info 121 Broadway • 619 235 9500

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Commissioned by John D. Spreckels, this Neo-Baroque landmark presents theatrical shows and concerts. Murals, Classical statuary, and an elegant marble lobby give the theater an aura of old San Diego.


Ornate interior, Spreckels Theatre

9. Sleep Train Amphitheatre

prac_info 2050 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista • 619 671 3500

Google Map

Major pop artists perform from March to October in this notable open-air amphitheater. Great sight lines and giant video screens ensure a good view. There is seating for 10,000 people and the grass can accommodate another 10,000.

10. Copley Symphony Hall

prac_info 750 B St • 619 235 0804

Google Map

Formerly known as Fox Theatre, a Rococo-Spanish Renaissance extravaganza built in 1929, this venue was to be destroyed until developers donated it to the San Diego Symphony in 1984. Since restored, the hall hosts excellent classical music concerts.


1. Citizen Kane, 1941

Director and actor Orson Welles used the California Tower and Dome in Balboa Park as Xanadu.

2. Sands of Iwo Jima, 1949

John Wayne raced up a hill at Camp Pendleton, the setting for the World War II battle in the acclaimed film.


Sands of Iwo Jima, 1949

3. Some Like It Hot, 1959

The distinctive structure of the Hotel del Coronado formed a backdrop for Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis.

4. MacArthur, 1971

Gregory Peck, born in La Jolla in San Diego, played the eponymous general on Silver Strand State Beach.

5. The Stunt Man, 1980

This Peter O’Toole film had several stuntmen jumping off the roof of the city’s Hotel del Coronado.

6. Top Gun, 1986

Tom Cruise chatted up Kelly McGillis at the iconic Kansas City Barbecue, in the harbor district.

7. Titanic, 1996

Filmed in an enormous, specially built water tank at Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

8. Almost Famous, 1999

Nothing much had to be changed for the Volkswagen and Birkenstock look of 1970s Ocean Beach.

9. Pearl Harbor, 2000

Kate Beckinsale proved her love for Ben Affleck by bidding him goodbye at the San Diego Railroad Museum in Campo.

10. Traffic, 2000

Along with scenes of San Diego and Tijuana, Traffic’s car explosion took place in the judges’ parking lot of the Hall of Justice.

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