Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
Search Backing

Frequently Asked Questions

Any other questions?

Please contact Liz Dugan, Sales and Marketing Coordinator via email at elizabeth.dugan@smgov.net or call us at 310-458-4924.

Thank you for your considering the Civic Auditorium as your event, photography or filming venue. We look forward to speaking with you.


What parts of the Civic are currently available for rent?

  • East Wing Meeting Room
  • Main Hall, Stage and Lobby
  • Exterior Event Spaces - Canopy, Front Lawn, East and West Patios, East Lawn
  • Surface Parking Lot

What types of events are generally permitted in the East Wing Meeting Room?

  • City recruitment activities, department meetings and workshops
  • Community, school and non-profit events and meetings
  • Film and photo shoots
  • Recordings
  • Product displays, launches and unveilings
  • Public assembly uses that are not otherwise prohibited in City policies

How many people can attend my event/meeting in the East Wing Meeting Room?

The East Wing Meeting Room can accommodate small to large groups ranging up to 360 guests. Event set-ups in the East Wing Meeting Room include banquet, classroom, theatre style and u-shape. Please see the East Wing Guest Capacity Chart for additional details.

What types of events are generally permitted in the Main Hall, Stage and Lobby?

  • Film and photo shoots
  • Closed rehearsals
  • Recordings
  • Theatrical technical productions

What is not allowed?

  • Smoking
  • Animals, with the exception of guide dogs and service animals
  • Gambling, casino games or 'game nights'
  • Private social events such as personal parties, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, weddings, religious celebrations, birthday parties, wedding anniversary parties, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, Quincenaras, reunions, etc.
  • Activities prohibited by City ordinance, state or federal law
  • The Civic Auditorium kitchen facilities are not available during the interim use period. If you plan on providing food it must be prepared off-site or you can work with Event Services to arrange for outdoor space where food vendors can prepare and cook food.

How much does it cost to rent a space in the Civic Auditorium?

Please see the Civic Rental Chart for a list of rental spaces and fees.

How do I reserve an event space?

Please call the Event Services team at 310-458-4924 for availability and event quotes. With your quote, Event Services will issue a temporary permit allowing you five business days to submit a deposit. When the deposit and signed completed permit are received by the City, the date will be secured. The City reserve the right to request alternate dates for an event or deny any application if the City's minimal staff and/or resources will not support the proposed use.

What does the event permit cover?

In addition to the specific space rentals and fees for your event, the permit includes a payment schedule, cancellation policies, rules and regulations, and insurance requirements.

What does rental include?

Our Event Services team works with you and your vendor(s) to provide seamless service from initial inquiry through the event itself. Your rental includes exclusive use of the permitted space for the specified time period and, depending on the space rented, may also include tables, chairs, custodial services as well as complimentary WI-FI and a dedicated Event Services representative onsite.

What about audio visual services?

The Civic does not provide any audio visual equipment for rent. Clients are asked to bring their own audio visual equipment or hire a private company.

Are there other event charges?

Depending on the scope and complexity of your event, clients may incur additional charges for:

  • Security - The City may determine that your event requires security personnel for the safety of your guests, the security of your property and to ensure that activities do not impact nearby residents.
  • Parking - Clients can pay for parking in advance as a part of their event permit or can pay as each car enters and exits.
  • Parking Attendants - Required for events with large number of attendees.
  • Additional Staff - Depending on the scope and complexity of your event, additional Event Attendants may be scheduled to staff your event.

Are there any other permits that I must obtain for my event?

Obtaining a rental permit for the Civic does not mean that your event has obtained all of the municipal, County, State and/or Federal permits or licenses required for the event to take place. Civic clients are responsible for obtaining any required permits and their associated fees. The Santa Monica Fire Department, Santa Monica Police Department, Public Works Department (e.g. Building and Safety Division) may require that you obtain additional permits and pay their associated fees. Additionally, your event may be required to obtain Los Angeles County permits for charitable solicitations and the provision of food and beverages to the public.

What are the payment policies?

All estimated costs must be paid prior to your event. Once you have approved the proposed permit, a deposit of 50% of the estimated rental fee is required to secure the date. Your permit will specify the due date for the balance of estimated costs. Payment may be made by check.

We do not accept cash payments.

Are there special rates for nonprofit organizations and schools?

Nonprofit organizations with documented tax-exempt status and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) are eligible for reduced rental fees. Preference for use of the Civic is provided to applicants who rent the Civic at standard Base Rental Fees. These special rates are confirmed no earlier than 45 days prior to the event date.

  • Nonprofits: When admission is charged, a 20% reduction may be applied. When admission is not charged, a 40% reduction may be applied. Nonprofit rental fees are offered for not more than two (2) events per month.
  • SMMUSD: Base rental fees may be reduced by 40% for SMMUSD-sponsored events.

Is Insurance required?

Yes. Clients are required to provide a certificate of insurance and an original endorsement naming the City as additional insured. In some cases clients are also required to provide a Waiver of Liability. Insurance requirements are provided to clients in the draft Event Permit.

Are there any restrictions on event decorations?

As you consider decor for your event, please note:

  • The Civic Auditorium does not allow any signs, objects, nails, hooks, adhesive fasteners, tacks, screws, etc. to be taped, tacked, secured, fastened or anchored to any building part, wall, pillar, doors, window or drapery. All requests to attach any equipment, signs, banners, decorations, etc. to any part of the facility must be approved in advance by the Event Services team.
  • The use of candles, rice, confetti, glitter, sequins, silly string, flower petals or birdseed is not permitted.
  • Balloons may be used as indoor decorations only.
  • Pop-up tents, canopies, and tenting may be allowed with the written permission of Event Services. In some cases separate City permits for temporary structures may be required.

Are there special requirements for vendor deliveries?

Civic staff is not available to accept deliveries on behalf of our clients renting the Civic. Civic permit holders must be present to accept their own deliveries. Event Services can provide you with delivery information for your vendors.

How does parking work?

On-site parking is located adjacent to the facility on the east side of building, and in the Civic Center Parking Structure at Olympic and Fourth Street. Private event/meeting parking may be reserved or guests can pay. Parking or parking lot use in conjunction with Civic Auditorium rental can be reserved through Event Services.

Any other questions?

Please contact Liz Dugan, Sales and Marketing Coordinator via email at elizabeth.dugan@smgov.net or call us at 310-458-4924.

Thank you for your considering the Civic Auditorium as your event, photography or filming venue. We look forward to speaking with you.