Vacationing bards, thespians, movie-lovers or divas will feel right at home amid the many stages, theaters, and performance art centers in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA. Local, national and independent dance troupes; musicals and plays; symphony concerts; and other performances and movies keep the local events calendars full throughout the year.
Check out the listings and show times for films, ballets, choir and chamber music concerts, drama and comedy performances and annual performance arts festivals at the links below, and buy your tickets for a cultural vacation in San Luis Obispo.
Overwhelmed by all of the choices? Don’t worry—you can always plan a San Luis Obispo sequel vacation.
Local Music & Drama Theatres
Performing Arts Center, Cal Poly - The Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo is a state-of-the-art performance facility located on the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) campus. Two main venues, the Christopher Cohan Center and the Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre, host local and national performers presenting everything from ballet and jazz dances to opera and symphony concerts and drama and comedian performances on any given night.
SLO Little Theatre, founded in 1947, is one of the oldest continuously running community theatres in the nation, featuring musicals, comedies and dramas regularly.
The Palm Theatre is the nation’s first solar-powered movie theater and the only locally-owned cinema in San Luis Obispo, showcasing the very best of Independent, Foreign, Art House, and Mainstream films for $8 general admission or $5 on Monday nights.
Fremont Theatre, an Art Deco theatre, features current movies as well as weekly rewinds of classic films (see website for current movie show times at the Fremont as well as at The Movie Experience 7 at Downtown Centre).
Sunset Drive-in, one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in California, shows double-header flicks at a family-friendly price of just $6 per person.
Annual Theatre & Performing Arts Events
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, a premiere 5-day annual event in March, showcases contemporary and classic film screenings in a wide variety of movie theaters and local venues in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Festival Mozaic is one of the oldest and most respected classical music festivals in the West, taking place in July, with additional concerts throughout the year.
The Central Coast Renaissance Festival in July features over 800 costumed participants at San Luis Obispo’s El Chorro Regional Park (transformed into Donneybrooke, an English Renaissance village) for Shakespearean live entertainment of all kinds.