Raymond Theatre

Pasadena, CA

YEAR: 2009



Historic Resources Group


Color Analysis and Consulting

Conservation of Decorative Paint

Decorative Finishes

Decorative Plaster Restoration

Built in 1921 by Henry Jensen, this Beaux Arts style theater was designed by Cyril Bennett. The largest theater in Pasadena, it was an immediate success for both vaudeville and movies. The theater was sold and renamed several times from 1948 to 1978 when it was sold to Marc & Jim Perkins and reopened as the Perkins Palace. For the next 10 years, the Perkins Palace was known as the premier rock venue of the San Gabriel Valley, showcasing new wave, punk, metal and even jazz musicians. The theatre's popularity was further bolstered by its association with nearby radio station KROQ, a then small but influential station known for leading the nation in music trends. British bands New Order, the Cure, and Adam and the Ants made their Southern California debuts at the theater, and during the 1980s, it was featured in films such as "This Is Spinal Tap" and "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years", as well as numerous music videos (such as Whitney Houston’s hit from "The Bodyguard", “I Will Always Love You”). On off nights, it was used by artists like Gladys Knight, Mötley Crüe and Van Halen for rehearsals before world tours. The venue even briefly had its own TV program, the Emmy-nominated "Rock ‘N’ Roll Tonite, Live from Perkins Palace", which aired on NBC from 1982-4.
The theater's performance days came to an end in 1991 when it was closed by its owners Gene & Marilyn Buchanan in anticipation of converting the space into offices. For the next fifteen years, the theater sat in the midst of a legal battle between the owners, the City of Pasadena and nonprofit preservation organization Friends of the Raymond Theatre, in an effort to preserve the theater as a performance space. The Buchanans were eventually awarded permits in 2006 and moved ahead with the restoration and conversion of the building and additions. The Raymond Rennaissance is now a mix of condos, office and retail space, with the exterior facade and interior entry, mezzanine and main theatre spaces meticulously restored to their original grandeur. Our participation in the restoration efforts included replication of missing plaster elements as well as color analysis and cosultin, reproduction of the decorative treatments including freehand painting as well as stenciling. For more on the Raymond Renaissance visit their website To learn more about the music history of the Raymond Theatre/Perkins palace, read this article by Matt Hormann