Arlington Theatre Celebrates 90th Birthday

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Arlington Theatre Celebrates 90th Birthday
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Source: Metropolitan Theatres

Metropolitan Theatres’ historic Arlington Theatre is celebrating its 90th Anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the theatre will reopen with a 3-day event on May 21, 22 and 23, 2021.

Three classic films, E.T., Ghostbusters, and Blade Runner the Final Cut, will be shown daily.  All tickets are $5 and are on-sale now at and on the Metropolitan Theatres mobile app.  Guests will receive a free popcorn with ticket purchase.  Daily showtimes are 2:30pm, 5:15pm and 8pm.

Kicking off the day’s events on Saturday, May 22 at 12:30pm will be a free live performance featuring organ music provided by the Santa Barbara Theatre Organ Society with special guest organist Adam Aceto.  Aceto will play on the Arlington’s Great Theatre Pipe Organ, a 1928 Robert-Morton “Wonder Morton” of which only 5 were ever made.  No tickets are needed for the performance and admission will be on a first come first served basis. 

“We are grateful for the Santa Barbara County community and its incredible support of the theatre, the events and films we’re been so fortunate to host. This is our opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for their loyalty over the past 90 years. This will be a special year at The Arlington Theatre as we look back and celebrate our history of providing entertainment to the greater Santa Barbara area,” commented David Corwin, President of Metropolitan Theatres.

The schedule for the celebration is as follows:

  • Friday, May 21: 
    • E.T.: 2:30pm
    • Ghostbusters: 5:15pm
    • Blade Runner The Final Cut: 8pm
  • Saturday, May 22: 
    • Organ Music Performance: 12:30pm
    • E.T.: 2:30pm
    • Ghostbusters: 5:15pm
    • Blade Runner The Final Cut: 8pm
  • Sunday, May 23: 
    • Ghostbusters.: 2:30pm
    • E.T.: 5:15pm
    • Blade Runner The Final Cut: 8pm


Metropolitan Theatres Corporation’s safety protocols are detailed on the Metropolitan Theatres website.

Planned Reopening’s:

  • Fairview Theatre (255 N. Fairview Avenue, Goleta):  Reopening Friday, May 14
  • Arlington Theatre (1317 State Street, Santa Barbara): Reopening Friday, May 21

Currently Reopened:

  • Fiesta 5 Theatre:  916 State Street, Santa Barbara
  • Metro 4 Theatre:  618 State Street, Santa Barbara
  • Camino Real Cinemas: 7040 Marketplace Drive, Goleta
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greg May 20, 2021 09:44 AM
Arlington Theatre Celebrates 90th Birthday

The Santa Barbara Theater Organ Society provides fascinating free tours around the organ, and environs - amazing stories about the organ's history well worth attending and supporting the society.
As for the showing Blade Runner - it is such a grim movie, a curious choice.

photodude May 20, 2021 11:58 AM
Arlington Theatre Celebrates 90th Birthday

Normally (pre covid) the Santa Barbara Theatre Organ Society (SBTOS.ORG) allows audience members to come up to the balcony and thence to the back side of Main Chamber II to see the myriad inner workings of the organ. There are just under 2000 pipes (whistles and horns) as well as real instruments (piano. marimba, vibraharp, xylophone, glockenspiel, chrysoglott (celesta), and cathedral chimes) Additionally, the "toy counter" has all the sound effects needed to accompany silent movies.

Pre covid, we held a monthly open console (typically9-11 AM the second Saturday of the month), which is free and open to the public, where anyone can come in play the organ, listen to other play it, and see the magic in the chambers that created the sound that was heard.

There are no amplifiers or loudspeakers in the organ. All sounds are acoustically produced.

Channelfog May 20, 2021 12:10 PM
Arlington Theatre Celebrates 90th Birthday

PHOTODUDE- Thank you so much for this info. Wonderful technology to preserve for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
The Arlington may not be the best theater, but it gets my vote for most fun theatre over the years.

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