Located in close proximity to Los Angeles, Carson and its surrounding cities have a lot to offer when it comes to theater, arts and culture. From art museums and fashion to movie production studios to musical productions, there is something for all culture lovers in the Carson area.
Starting in the heart of Carson, you can visit the California State University: Dominguez Hills Art Gallery located on East Victoria Street. This spacious gallery located on the CSU Arts & Sciences campus features works by graduating seniors of the art program. The exhibition changes five times every year and there are often lectures and other art events hosted here throughout the year. There is also the International Printing Museum on Torrance Boulevard that features a great exhibit on book arts as well as the history of printing.
In neighboring Torrance you will find the Torrance Cultural Center located on Civic Center Drive. This large center includes a 502-seat theatre for performing arts, several visual arts studios and an authentic, beautiful Japanese garden. The Torrance Art Museum, also located on Civic Center Drive offers visual art exhibitions both permanent and traveling. There are also many lectures and educational events throughout the year so be sure to check their calendar before planning your trip to Carson. Nearby in Torrance on Albalone Avenue is the Chen Art Gallery which features the personal Chinese art collection that belongs to the well-known Dr. Tei Fu Chen. This museum features not only paintings but also historic artifacts from the Neolithic Era as well as the Ming and Qing imperial palace collections.
Just 15 minutes southeast of Carson in Long Beach is the Museum of Latin American Arts on Alamitos Avenue. It is hard to miss the unique architecture of the building that houses the Museum of Latin American Arts. This museum features art created to reflect the Latin American culture that has been prevalent in the Southern California area for generations. Much of the art was produced by locals to this area and are rich in heritage and cultural symbolism.
For theater enthusiasts, check out the El Segundo Playhouse on Main Street in neighboring El Segundo. This 850-seat, non-profit theater puts productions of hits such as Emma, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harvey and many more. The El Segundo Playhouse is also where you can see the Civic Light Opera of South Bay. Ticket prices generally range between $30 and $60 depending on the production and time of performance.
Nearby, in the city of Long Beach, there are quite a few playhouses and theatres to experience, which include the Long Beach Playhouse that has two separate theaters of its own. Both theaters offer small, intimate settings for local productions, musicals and concerts at relatively affordable prices. You'll find that tickets for events at the Long Beach Playhouse range from $11 all the way up to $27. The Long Beach Opera - which has successfully completed 28 seasons - puts on productions like Death in Venice, King Roger, and Powder Her Face just to name a few. The Long Beach Shakespeare Company plays host to several free Shakespearean festivals each year so don't forget to check their calendar before planning your trip.
Just 25 minutes north is the mecca for aspiring actors. This would be none other than the city of Los Angeles. Here you will find a wide selection of playhouses, dinner theaters, concert calls and more. While many actors find their start here, there are also many established actors that perform in productions in the LA area so you never know who you might get to see. Also in Los Angeles is the Warner Grand Theatre, a beautiful theater that runs many independent films and hosts various filmed themed events throughout the year.
There are a number of great movie theaters in the area including the AMC Del Amo 18 on West Carson Street and the AMC Rolling Hills 20 in neighboring Torrance. Long Beach, just 15 minutes away offers even more options for the silver screen. These include the Cinemark at the Pike, the Long Beach Edwards Stadium 26 & IMAX and the Garden View Cinema. For something a little different, check out The Art Theatre in Long Beach which was erected in the 1920s and has been maintained to keep its look and ambiance reminiscent of the Golden Age.