It does not take more than a moment to realize that the soul of The Luke runs deep within the walls of its majestic, historic architecture. Built by skilled WPA artisans, dedicated to their crafts and completed in 1933, this theatre has a 75+ year history of music, dance and theatre. This legacy is infused with inspirational teaching by people who encouraged young people to take risks and explore their creative talents. In 1999 a groundswell of energy lead by parents, students, administrators and SBJHS alums began the process of bringing this historic theatre back to and beyond its original splendor.
After three years of dreaming, visioning, designing and fund-raising, The Marjorie Luke Theatre was re-born like a phoenix from the ashes of disrepair and neglect. These dreams were fueled by a passion for quality arts education and the yearning to give back to a place where dreams were realized in generations past. Alumnus Anthony Edwards stepped up to be the lead donor and earned the privilege of naming the theatre. His first theatre teacher, Marjorie Luke, who taught at Santa Barbara Junior High for 14 years was honored with his naming.
The Marjorie Luke Theatre is a tribute to the true spirit of this community pulling together to make this exemplary theatre a reality. Private donors, foundations, businesses, state and federal funds and Measure V Bond funds combined to efficiently complete the $4 million renovation in late 2003. Santa Barbara Magazine put it best when they published these words about The Luke:“An award-winning, beautiful, state of the art theatre. The People’s Theatre.”