Hearst Greek Theatre
The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, known locally as simply the Greek Theatre, is an 8,500-seat amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, USA.
|Address||2001 Gayley Rd|
|Owner||University of California, Berkeley|
|Operator||concerts promoted by Another Planet Entertainment|
Hearst Greek Theatre
Berkeley Landmark #153
|Architect||John Galen Howard|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|MPS||Berkeley, University of California MRA|
|NRHP reference #||82004644|
|Added to NRHP||March 25, 1982|
|Designated BERKL||February 25, 1991|
The Greek Theatre hosts The Berkeley Jazz Festival, pop, rock, and world music concerts, UC Berkeley graduation ceremonies, occasional addresses by noted speakers, and other events. Past speakers include President Theodore Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst, and the Dalai Lama.
The Hearst Greek Theater was built in 1903 on the site of a rough outdoor bowl already in use as an amphitheater since 1894 known as "Ben Weed's Amphitheater". The project was championed by University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler and was the first University building designed by John Galen Howard. Its construction was financed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after whom it was named. The design of the theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.
It officially opened on September 24, 1903 with a student production of The Birds by Aristophanes. However, while still under construction in May 1903, the theatre hosted a graduation ceremony with an address by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a friend of Wheeler's from New York.
Over the years, the Greek Theatre has seen performances from hundreds of musical and theatrical artists. The Greek has also long been the venue for a number of annual UC Berkeley events including departmental graduation ceremonies, the Commencement Convocation for graduating seniors, and the Big Game Bonfire Rally before the Big Game each year with Stanford. Charter Day ceremonies and inaugurations of University of California presidents and Berkeley chancellors have been held in the Greek Theatre. Berkeley High School also uses the Greek Theatre for its graduation ceremonies.
Another Planet Entertainment became the exclusive concert promoter at the Greek in 2004.
In May 2012, a seismic retrofit and expansion was designed by Palo Alto architecture firm, CAW Architects and constructed by Overaa Construction. Four new reinforced concrete columns were added and concealed in the original structure.
Michael Moore giving a public speech here in October 2003.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Berkeley Landmarks". Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- "Award of Merit, Renovation/Restoration: UC Berkeley's Hearst Greek Theatre". ENR California. McGraw-Hill Construction. November 27, 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Title: Sarah Bernhardt as Phaedre in the Greek Theatre of Berkeley Creator(s): Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942, photographer Date Created/Published: between 1906 and 1942; from a negative taken in 1906. Medium: 1 slide : lantern ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller. Call Number: LC-G4085- 0035 Repository: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
- California, Berkeley Daily Planet, Berkeley. "Clear Channel Loses Greek Theater Concerts". berkeleydailyplanet.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Historic Greek Theatre safe, sound and superb after upgrades". News Center. UC Berkeley. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- UC Berkeley Media Relations. "UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre turns 100 years old this month". Retrieved October 3, 2005.
- UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. "About Us-History". Archived from the original on April 4, 2005. Retrieved October 3, 2005.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Cal Performances. "Greek Theatre Technical Specifications". Archived from the original on November 19, 2005. Retrieved October 3, 2005. Cite uses deprecated parameter