The Laguna Playhouse has completed the sale of the theater’s adjoining property at 580 Broadway in Laguna Beach, the Playhouse announced today. The property has been sold to Laguna Broadway LLC, with principal and local investor Joe Hanauer representing the limited partnership.

Hanauer is well known in Laguna Beach, having several years ago redeveloped the original landmark Pottery Shack property on South Coast Highway, now called The Old Pottery Place.

“We are grateful that given the current real estate market, our team — including NAI Capital with brokers Christopher Chinnici and Roman Ciuni, attorney Steve Dzida of Dzida, Carey and Steinman, Playhouse Board President Henry Mayhew and Building Committee Chair Bill Gaboury — were able to complete the sale with Mr. Hanauer and his team,” said Karen Wood, the Playhouse’s managing director. “Proceeds from the sale will be used to retire the mortgage and stabilize the organization. We’ll be able to look to the future with a renewed sense of confidence, a focus on serving our community, and to plan for and usher in a new era in the evolution of the Playhouse.”

The Laguna Playhouse purchased the adjoining property in 1998 for a planned expansion and construction of a second theater. However, the economic downturn dealt a blow to the expansion plans, and the Playhouse is redirecting resources toward strengthening the organization.


“As we move toward our 90th Anniversary, we want to establish a business model that is financially secure, sustainable over time, and one that supports a viable vision for the future of our organization and for the community,” said Henry Mayhew, president of the Board of Trustees.

Founded in 1920, the Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating theatres on the West Coast. The Laguna Playhouse is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, a group of non-profit professional theatres. Under long-time Artistic Director Andy Barnicle, the Playhouse attracts more than 100,000 theater-goers annually.

CINDY FRAZIER is city editor of the Coastline Pilot. She can be contacted at (949) 380-4321 or