Long Beach Arts & Entertainment

By Gina Ramsey


In a city as large and diverse as Long Beach, you will never run out of options for something interesting to do. From museums and art galleries to live theater, Long Beach has some of the best art and entertainment culture in the county.


Long Beach Playhouse (LBP)

Established in 1929, the Long Beach Playhouse has been more than just a location to watch a play. “Community is a word that is constantly associated with the Long Beach Playhouse,” said Madison Mooney, executive director since 2017. “We are a community level theatre, our shows are being produced by our community and for our community.”


The Playhouse is ‘one of the oldest continually running Community Theaters in the western United States.’ They offer so much more than just a fun way to spend an evening. Aside from producing about 13 shows a year, LBP offers workshops for adults and youth in acting, vocal music and dance, internships, and even special fundraising performances for non-profits. “For artists we are a place where people can practice and improve their craft,” said Mooney.


Mooney, who fell in love with the theater as a child doing school plays, moved to Long Beach and earned her degree in Theatre Arts from Cal State. She first became involved with LBP in 2009 mainly as a volunteer, and later a performer and stage manager. One thing that has become a type of tradition at the Playhouse are murder mystery plays that run in January and February. “It’s always a sold-out run with audiences trying to guess ‘whodunit’,” she said. “My goal is that our staff, volunteers, and patrons feel like a part of a community together.”


Long Beach Playhouse

5021 E. Anaheim St.LB, CA 90804

(562) 494-1014 • www.lbplayhouse.org


Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

Founded in 1996, MOLAA has been at the forefront of showcasing and celebrating modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx artists, “as well as the cultural events that celebrate the Latin American and Latinx cultural narrative,” said Dr. Lourdes Ramos, President and CEO of MOLAA since 2017. “MOLAA provides a cultural and artistic value to the city of Long Beach through its exhibitions and educations programs,” Dr. Ramos said.


Located in a building that was once a roller-skating rink known as the Hippodrome, MOLAA is marking its 25th anniversary this year as an International Institution. Through their many community partnerships, MOLAA has been more than just a museum. MOLAA has partnered with several organizations in the city, such as ‘Help Me Help You Food Pantry,’ where twice a month on the museum premises the groups offer food pantry services to Long Beach residents; and the Red Cross for monthly blood drives. During the last several months, MOLAA has collaborated with the Long Beach Health Department for mobile COVID testing sites and vaccination events. “As part of our commitment with our community, we have kept the program MOLAA Free Sundays to provide free admission to visitors, including a Docent- led tour of the current exhibitions at 2:00 p.m. PDT,” Dr. Ramos said. “We also continue to work with the teachers in Long Beach Unified School District to offer scholarships for online and onsite tours of our exhibitions.”


Transparency and staying open to feedback are the keys to successful communication with the public, according to Dr. Ramos. “The Museum of Latin American Art is proud to be part of Long Beach, where we can contribute to build a better quality of life for our neighbors and visitors,” Dr. Ramos said. “We thrive on the partnerships we have built that enable us to be a better neighbor to our community.”


Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

628 Alamitos Ave.

LB, CA 90802

(562) 437-1689

Molaa.org


A few other notable Arts & Entertainment locations in LBC

Carpenter Center at CSULB

1250 Bellflower Blvd.

LB, CA 90840

(562) 985-4111

www.carpenterarts.org


The Beverly O’Neill Theater at Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

300 East Ocean Blvd

LB, CA 90802


Musical Theatre West

4350 E. 7th Street

LB, CA 90804

(562) 856-1999

Musical.org


Long Beach Museum of Art

2300 East Ocean Blvd.

LB, CA 90803

(562) 439-2119

www.lbma.org


Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum

695 Alamitos Ave.

LB, CA 90802

(562) 216-4170


Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum

Cal State Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840

562.985.5761 • www.csulb.edu/museum


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