By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
HARLEQUIN DINNER PLAYHOUSE, 1974-1989
Orange County was the epicenter of dinner theater in the 1980s, and the Harlequin Dinner Playhouse in Santa Ana was one of its main players. The 450-seater hosted Broadway plays such as Annie Get Your Gun.
When dinner theater went out of vogue, the venue's owners relaunched the space as a restaurant and concert venue with the appearance of Buster Poindexter, the alter ego of rocker David Johansen, and his group the Banshees of Blue; Blood, Sweat & Tears; and Gary Puckett. It shut down after six months in the wake of booking problems.
RHYTHM CAFE, 1992-1993
Rhythm Cafe was going to be a national chain of concert clubs, at a time when the likes of the House of Blues didn't exist. The permit applications said acts who would play there "may include" America, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Gallagher, Kenny G., Natalie Cole, Pat Benatar, Waylon Jennings, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
3503 S. Harbor Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Category: Music Venues
Region: Santa Ana
GALAXY CONCERT THEATRE, 1993-2008
Gary Folgner, who still owns the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, would be the venue's longest tenant after the Harlequin Dinner Playhouse—and the most successful at booking musical acts. Under his management, stars such as Beck, Lucinda Williams, Mos Def and Jimmy Cliff appeared. He lost his lease in 2008 and was replaced by a higher-paying tenant.
It was supposed to be a 25,000-square-foot, high-end restaurant/nightclub managed by Anton Posniak and company. Reportedly, plans were for its interior to change every six months, each time with a different theme. Santa Ana wouldn't allow a nightclub, so it never opened.
GALAXY CONCERT THEATRE, 2009-2011
Folgner was offered the lease after Revolver didn't pan out, and he had to work to get the dormant-for-a-year building back up to code.