The newly restored Fleischmann Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will officially open to the public for the museum’s annual Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace on Dec. 6–8.
Since opening in 1938, Fleischmann Auditorium has become one of the most used spaces at the museum, hosting a dozen lectures a year (seating up to 340 people), along with numerous special events, dinners and public gatherings.
The auditorium is used by community organizations at least 15 times a year, and is frequently rented for private events. It also serves as the location for science-based traveling exhibits.
Designed by architect Chester Carjola, the Spanish Colonial Revival style building features plastered walls, hand wrought metalwork, and a large timbered open truss ceiling. Hanging from the ceiling are eight custom chandeliers with Native American motifs painted on stretched vellum.
Renovations included refinishing the wood wainscoting, the floors, and stage proscenium; painting the interior and exterior of the auditorium; adding acoustical wall treatment and baffles to improve sound absorption; installing new heating and air conditioning; upgrading the roof system for seismic and energy efficiency improvements; addressing ADA issues including making both the stage and alcoves wheelchair accessible; installing new audio visual equipment and theater grade lighting; and refurbishing the eight custom chandeliers.