Padua Hills Theater
Also called the "Little Theater," this modern-day wedding and event venue was once housed the most "celebrated collection of Mexican American artists in Southern California from 1931 to 1974." It allowed Euroamericans to indulge in the consumption of the Spanish Fantasy Past while it also allowed an opportunity for Mexican performers to bring their performances into the cultural mainstream.
Backstory and Context
As a solution to their problem, owners Herman and Bess Garner turned their attention to the local Mexican American community. The Garner's turned towards a Mexican American workforce for cooking, cleaning, and waitressing, but more importantly, they also provided entertainment--which often meant singing "Mexican folk songs during dinners and intermissions."2 These performances quickly became popular among the whites who frequented the theater, and soon, the theater became dedicated "to the sole production of plays featuring" these Mexican American Actors--The Mexican Players.3 The theater became the longest-running theater featuring Mexican American actors, culture, and entertainment, and it worked to foster a cultural bridge between the Mexican American and Euroamerican communities.