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Downtown Santa Barbara Presents “Rock Around the Block”

Santa Barbara, CA – July 5th was an evening so loaded with arts and culture, it could only happen in Downtown Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden lawn was strewn with blankets and chairs filled with avid movie fans, awaiting “Roman Holiday,” the 1953 romantic comedy starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. A block or two away, galleries of the Historic Art District welcomed art lovers in a sort of mini Friday evening edition of 1st Thursday, to make up for the regular monthly art walk giving way to the 4th of July festivities the night before. And to complete the cultural triple play, Downtown Santa Barbara (DSB) hosted not one but two music performances on State Street, in the kick-off of the Rock Around the Block pop-up music series.

“We wanted to enhance the Summer Movie Series experience by adding an additional element to summer Friday evenings,” says Carrie Kelly, DSB Executive Director. “We invite everyone to come downtown, have a bite to eat, do a little shopping, enjoy the music, then settle in for “Those Fabulous Fifties” films!” For those eager to feed the body along with the mind, DSB restaurants are offering “Dinner & a Movie” selections, such has special pricing at Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant & Take Out and 20% off everything at Sushi Tyme, with a mention of the Movies series.

Preceding the Peck/Hepburn classic, anyone strolling past the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (State & Anapamu) found themselves bopping to the music of Chill Point. Continuing down State Street, David Segall serenaded diners near Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant with his soulful guitar.

At 10 West Gallery (10 West Anapamu), owner Mark Walker was excited to host a steady stream of art lovers. “It was great to see all the energy in the downtown area,” Mark said. “So many people were out enjoying all that Downtown SB has to offer!” Many galleries plan to remain open later on Fridays throughout the summer (except August 2nd), exhibiting many local artists.

The music/art/movies continue through August (except August 2nd due to Fiesta).


July 19: “Rebel Without a Cause;” John Lyle

July 26: “Some Like it Hot;” SB Trombone Quartet

August 9: “On the Waterfront;” Out of the Blue

August 16: “High Noon;” Bill Rotella AND Stray Herd

August 23: “Sunset Boulevard;” Donna Green & the Roadhouse Daddies

                *Rock Around the Block is a pop-up music series – locations on State Street will vary. Alternate locations may include Andersen’s (1106 State), Benchmark eatery (1201 State) and others, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

For more information about the Friday summertime events, click here.

Downtown Santa Barbara serves as the champion and advocate for the merchants and property owners of the downtown district in Santa Barbara, California, with more than 1400 members.  The Downtown Organization represents a vibrant, authentic downtown core that celebrates itself as an urban community and an internationally known destination.  It also manages the Downtown Santa Barbara Business Improvement District (BID), providing enhanced services to make Downtown Santa Barbara a cleaner, safer and more vibrant place for visitors, investors, and residents.