To provide a high quality theater space for non-profit performing arts organizations that may not have access to comparable facilities; to develop and present innovative art experiences and opportunities for youth; to entertain, stimulate and engage the general public through the performing arts.
The Miles Memorial Playhouse was designed in 1929 by prominent local architect John Byers in the Spanish Colonial revival style. The building’s sponsor, J. Euclid Miles, was a leading citizen in the development of Santa Monica. In his last will and testament, Miles bequeathed $25,000 to the City to erect a theater “for the children and young men and women” of Santa Monica as a memorial to his daughter, Mary A. Miles.
With its massive wooden beams, plasterwork, gleaming hardwood floors, ironwork details, and grand fireplace, the Playhouse has been enjoyed by generations of Santa Monicans and used almost continually since its inception as a meeting hall and performance venue.
In 1994 the Playhouse was nearly destroyed in the Northridge earthquake, but assisted by the John Ash group and in consultation with the community at large it was fully restored by the City in 1998. Since then it has presented annual cultural programs for youth and adults as well as ongoing public performances by renting nonprofits.
Public programming and subsidized theater rental is made possible by The City of Santa Monica, Cultural Affairs Division.