Everyone will feel right at home amid the many performing arts centers in San Luis Obispo. Everyone from local to international groups take the stage in the small town of SLO. San Luis Obispo’s events calendars are full of exciting concerts and performances happening throughout each year. throughout the year.
Check out the listings for films, ballets, chamber music concerts, dramas, and even comedy performances, along with annual performing arts festivals below. Overwhelmed by all the choices? Don’t worry—you can always come back to visit!
1035 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo
The Fremont Theatre, an Art Deco theatre in Downtown San Luis Obispo, features current movies as well as weekly rewinds of classic films. Each year in March, the theatre hosts the famous San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, or “SLO Film Fest,” where visitors can experience the unique venue and creative, masterful film pieces, including independent films, Hollywood hits, and more. The historic Fremont Theatre hosts more than movies and festivals, frequently featuring concerts from hit artists. Whether snapping a picture at this iconic spot or watching a film, the Fremont Theatre is a can’t miss stop when visiting San Luis Obispo, so make sure to swing by this jaw-dropping theatre.
Performing Arts Center
1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo
A state-of-the-art performance facility, the Performing Arts Center, commonly known as the “PAC,” is located on the California Polytechnic State University campus. The PAC consists of two main venues, including the Christopher Cohan Center and the Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre. On any given night, each venue of the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center hosts local, national, and international performers, presenting everything from ballet, drama, comedy, and opera performances to orchestra, jazz, and symphony concerts. If you find yourself in the area during the winter months, try to catch one of the many holiday performances like the Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and more!
SLO Repertory Theatre
888 Morro Street, San Luis Obispo
Previously the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre is nestled in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo. Known for their lively theatre performances in their intimate 100 seat playhouse, the SLO REP is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a show during your San Luis Obispo vacation. In the past, the theatre has performed Bye Bye Birdie, Cabaret, A Christmas Story, Of Mice and Men, and many more since 1946. Featuring professional actors and directors in a year-round season of delightful musicals, comedies, and powerful dramas, the SLO REP is your theatrical destination along the Central Coast.
Annual Theatre & Performing Arts Events
- San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, a premiere 6-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 the summer months with Festival Mozaic Summer and during the winter season with Festival Mozaic Wintermezzo.
- The Central Coast Renaissance Festival, taking place in July, features over 800 costumed participants at San Luis Obispo’s El Chorro Regional Park, which is transformed into Donneybrooke, an English Renaissance village for Shakespearean live entertainment of all kinds.
- San Luis Obispo Symphony’s Classics in the Cohan Series is hosted at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center and gives viewers a magical evening experience. Directed by Andrew Sewell, the Classics in the Cohan Series is a musical events that you don’t want to miss.