Did you know Monterey is home to California's very first theatre? Read below for bit of history about this iconic landmark.
On a cool night in 1850, in a tavern attached to a lodging house, a group of disbanded Army officers presented a melodrama. Performing on a stage lit by whale-oil lamps with red and blue blankets for curtains, and charging just $5 a ticket, the group brought in $500 that first night - and California's First Theatre was born. Jack Swan, a British sailor, built the tavern in 1845 with wood salvaged from a shipwreck. He added the adobe lodging in 1846, housing whalers for a spell in the mid 1800s. Melodramas continued through the 1850s, and when Swan died in 1896 the building fell into disrepair until the California Landmarks League bought it in 1906. The First Theatre, on the corner of Scott and Pacific Streets, is open for select historic events each year.
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