The History of PV Players
The oldest community theater in the South Bay, PV Players is the veteran among local theater groups. Founded in 1934, the first performances were given in a room above the Palos Verdes Drug Store in Malaga Cove Plaza, and played to full houses – 30 or 40 people. This was a good draw, considering the Peninsula population was about 1,000. Mrs. Maybelle Ripley, one of the founders, recalled the problems they had during WWII blackouts when it was necessary to use a flashlight to find one’s way upstairs, and productions were limited due to lack of manpower during the war years.
Because of post-war problems, the group disbanded in 1946. The Players reactivated in 1953 under the sponsorship of Adult Education of the LA School System. In the fall of 1956, the Players elected to withdraw from Adult Education in order to pursue a more independent course with respect to selection of plays and directors. Since then, the group has been in continuous operation. Things were going so well by 1960 that the ultimate dream began to seem possible to the group – a theater of its own. When the Post Office moved to larger quarters, the Players leased their space on Via Tejon, and enjoyed playing in that Playhouse until 1979.
With the closing of the PV Playhouse on Via Tejon, the Players performed for relatively short periods at Pedregal School, Marymount College and the Norris Theater for the Performing Arts on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and at the Sam Levy Adult Center in Torrance. In February of 1990, the Players opened their first performance at its current playhouse, which was built in an existing structure at 2433 Moreton Street in Torrance. In 2001, a second, more intimate venue, called the 2nd Stage, was established. Located in a former rehearsal room, it offers theatergoers an additional theater in which to see quality entertainment, on a smaller scale.
PV Players is proud to offer a wide variety of quality shows to the theater-going public. Frequently introducing the new works of local playwrights in our staged-reading program, the theater also hosts out-reach programs for the elderly, serves as a venue for other non-profits in their fundraising efforts, and offers a student internship program for young people interested in theater. However, the lease at its current location ends in December 2004. The group hopes to be able to buy a home of its own, either in its current location or somewhere equally accessible and inviting. Generations of volunteers have hoped for this and the current crop will be working very hard to achieve this dream. With generous help from the community, this dream can become a reality and the group can continue its proud tradition of great theater in the South Bay. If you wish to make a donation to the Building Fund, please send your check payable to PV Players, and mail to PV Players Attn: Leon Cohen PMB 7000-71 Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.
PV Players – Main Stage
PV Players in Torrance, California is the oldest community theater in the South Bay. It has been providing quality productions for the area since 1934. Its current venue at 2433 Moreton Street has both a 140-seat proscenium theater (Main Stage) and a 35-seat black box theater (2nd Stage). The Main Stage’s theater has a considerable rake that provides an excellent view from any seat in the house. PV Players is wheelchair accessible.
PV Players – 2nd Stage
A former rehearsal room, the 2nd Stage provides an intimate setting in its small 35-seat black box theater to showcase cutting-edge material, an alternative to the more traditional work presented on the Main Stage. Since 2001, the 2nd Stage has produced avant garde or experimental material, in addition to original scripts by local playwrights.
Seating is open in both houses and payment is made at the door, though advance reservations are required to guarantee a seat. Both theaters open for seating 30 minutes before show time. We request that you cancel your reservations if you will not be attending. Subscriptions are available for the full or remaining part of a season.
PV Players is located at 2433 Moreton Street, Torrance, California, between Pacific Coast Highway and Lomita Blvd., at Crenshaw and Amsler, behind the Palos Verdes Bowling Alley. See our map & directions for more information.