In 1986, the B Street Theatre opened as a simple touring theater for children. Since then, it has grown to be one of the West Coast’s premier children’s theaters, producing 19 shows per year and serving 300,000 people annually. But the two-theater playhouse had outgrown its original space and sought options.
In April 2015, a task force put together by former-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson published its findings and recommendations regarding a potential world-class performing arts center in downtown Sacramento. It found room for growth in Sacramento’s performing arts markets, particularly for high-quality facilities in the 150-300, 500-800 and 2,200-2,500 seating capacity range.
Related: School of Thought
With the findings, the timing for a new and improved B Street Theatre was ideal. The theater launched a capital campaign to raise the needed funds to build California’s first year-round, fully-professional theater for children. In May 2016, construction began on the new $25 million complex on 27th Street and Capitol Avenue. The new 48,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in February 2018 and will include two theaters — a 365-seat children’s theater and a 250-seat mainstage theater, as well as rehearsal space, an expansive lobby, an on-site, full-service restaurant and a rooftop deck. Sutter Medical Center donated the land to build the complex. A generous donation from Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos and matched by Sutter Health Community Benefit brought in total contributions of $3 million. The new theater will be named the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, in honor of its largest donor.
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