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The Empress is an historic mixed-used performing arts center dedicated to the community of Vallejo. Vallejo is listed as one of the must culturally diverse cities in America and the programming of the Empress is designed to reflect this same diversity of interest, culture and economic reality, ensuring that it stands as a resource for all the constituents of Vallejo.
The Empress is managed by the non-profit Vallejo Community Arts Foundation and it is the Foundation's mission to ensure that the programming presented on the theater's stage and screen mirrors our diverse community. The Empress business model is based around a volunteer Entertainment Advisory Committee of local arts professionals from each of the City's diverse culture communities and from each of the major performing arts and entertainment disciplines. This body's task is to determine the direction and content of the theater's programming and ensure that the programming accurately reflects the breadth of diversity, interests and economic realities of our community. Our research indicates that this level of community involvement, support and input has not been a major component of other community arts center operations and we're proud to be the inclusionary model for the next generation of cultural facilities.
Founded in 1991, the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation's mission is to promote, enhance public awareness, appreciation and participation in community arts programs; to be responsible for the overall management and funding of designated community arts facilities (including the Fetterly Gallery, the Fetterly Playhouse, and the Empress Theatre); and to raise and disburse funds for community arts programs and facilities. The Empress Theatre is a program of the Arts Foundation.
The Empress Theatre, originally built in 1911, is a beautiful and historic structure. It lay dormant and boarded up for nearly 20 years following damage from the Loma Prieta earthquake. It has been fully restored, seismically retrofitted and updated to modern theatrical standards for both film and live events.