Maybe you're caught up in the buzz of Oscar-nominated films, or perhaps live theater is your thing. Either way, pull up a chair and settle in for some showbiz at local joints in the North County featuring quality on the big screen or stage. Yelp has the behind the scenes scoop, so snag a seat and let someone else pop the popcorn – we promise you’ll be entertained!
New Village Arts Theater (Carlsbad)
Twelve years running, this local production company and theater has won a multitude of awards. With only 90 seats, be sure to grab your tickets for upcoming shows at this intimate venue ASAP. "Circle Mirror Transformation" is currently on the stage and opening night for "To Kill a Mockingbird" is on Apr. 12. Tickets are reasonable at around $30 per show and if you’d really like to love on the arts, attend the upcoming Gala at the newly opened Green Dragon Tavern & Museum on Mar. 15.
La Paloma Theater (Encinitas)
The 1927 opening of this beloved local theater brought everything from vaudeville to the pipe organ to Encinitas. Nowadays, you’ll find a traditional Friday night showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Oscar-nominated films, poetry slams and concerts on the regular here. In honor of the San Diego Italian Film Festival, this theater also runs monthly showings of popular foreign films, in Italian with English subtitles, through July. Backstage tip: the box office is cash only.
North Coast Repertory Theater (Solana Beach)
This 30-year-old non-profit not only brings highly-acclaimed theater to North County but also reaches out to the community with a theater school. Not to mention, the intimate setting of only 194 seats is perfection for live theater. On the main stage you’ll find talented actors in noteworthy productions such as "The School for Lies" (running through Mar. 16) by Tony-nominated David Ives and the upcoming world premier of "Mandate Memories."
California Center for the Arts (Escondido)
Hosting the acclaimed "Shen Yun 2014” starting Feb. 26, this gem venue in North SD connects the community to art, music, theater and more. Beyond amazing performances, you’ll find educational series and family events like the "Second Saturdays Family Art Discovery,” a few hours of free art with materials supplied. Speaking of the kids, don’t miss out on the magical, Dr. Seuss-inspired musical extravaganza, “Seussical,” which starts on Mar. 20.
Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas (Carlsbad & Del Mar)
Once you experience 7 feet of personal space, reclining seats set in twos, advance reserved seating and chair-side service you’ll find it tough to return to average movie going. Popular and comfortable, these high-end theaters offer upscale menus served right at your seat and some 21+ screening rooms with bar services. Grab your tickets, at about $20 per person, online a day or two in advance. Most shows get sold out, especially on weekends, so plan ahead.
Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.