The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA)

Concert Venue
The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) Looking for concerts at The Observatory Orange County in Santa Ana, CA? Check out Party Earth for schedules, photos, videos, & more for this unique concert spot! Los Angeles United States 33.699779 -117.918642
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The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) - Concert Venue in Los Angeles.
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INFO The Observatory, formerly known as the Galaxy Theatre, is a music venue located in Santa Ana. Known for booking both famous and up-and-coming bands, the Observatory is one of the most popular live music venues in Orange... ... read more

  • Neighborhood:

    Santa Ana, CA
  • Address:

    3503 South Harbor Boulevard
    Santa Ana, CA 92704

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The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) Videos

The Hives - I Want More HD LIVE (2012) Orange County The Observatory
The Hives - I Want More HD LIVE (2012) Orange County The Observatory
CSS - City Grrrl LIVE HD (2012) Orange County The Observatory
420 Hangover Festival Highlights - The Observatory Orange County - 4/21/2012
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour @ Constellation Room, Santa Ana 2011
CSS - Hits Me Like A Rock HD LIVE (2012) Orange County The Observatory
CSS - Beautiful Song LIVE HD (2012) Orange County The Observatory
Late Night 420 Hangover Festival Brodeo - The Observatory Orange County - Santa Ana 4/21/2012

The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) Information

The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) - Concert Venue in Los Angeles.

The Observatory, formerly known as the Galaxy Theatre, is a music venue located in Santa Ana. Known for booking both famous and up-and-coming bands, the Observatory is one of the most popular live music venues in Orange County.

Opened in 1994 as the Galaxy Theatre, the 550-person venue was known for showcasing many tribute and cover bands. The Galaxy eventually closed in 2008 and then reopened in 2011 as the newly renovated Observatory, boasting a larger capacity and a more impressive calendar of performers.

The refurbished space also features a “venue within a venue,” called the Constellation Room. This smaller stage offers patrons a different mix of talent than that of the Observatory’s main stage.

Past concerts at the Observatory include performances by Tyga, Thrice, Adventure Club, Tiësto, and Wolfgang Gartner.

The Observatory Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) User Reviews

Average rating:
Can't judge a book by its cover
Ashlei B. Oct 23, 2012
I recently had the opportunity to attend The Observatory for AWOLNATION and Imagine Dragons. When approaching the venue, it appears to an old abandoned warehouse converted into a venue, and we’ve all been to those places where there appears to be duct tape holding everything from collapsing and graffiti all over the walls, but looks can be deceiving. I had not had the chance to see a show at The Observatory since they remodeled it from The Galaxy, but I wish I saw more shows there sooner. So let me breakdown this venue for you, starting with the negative, because the positive definitely makes up for it. First off, parking is a bit of an issue. There is a limited amount of parking available in front of the venue, and your next best option is following the signs down a few blocks to where they direct to parking in closed office building space and charge you $10/car. If you are coming from LA, $10 isn’t much, but in OC it is very rare that you ever have to pay for parking, and they don’t even seem to own this lot (hopefully they have the right permits). Also, this is a few blocks away, so if you are in a hurry, get there early or plan on running. Note: If you get there early enough (and I mean by 6pm early) there is a chance the parking people have not set up yet and you can get free parking directly in front of the venue. Now that you’ve parked and made it to the venue, hopefully you already have your tickets with you. Especially on a sold out show night, plan on it being a long wait. It was just a disorganized mess. They have one will-call line, with one guy at the window, even knowing how many people were coming for the show. Then after waiting in that long, slow line, you have to go get in an even longer line to get your ticket checked and get in, where the security guards don’t even seem to know what is going on or who has been checked or not. And, if you are there for The Constellation (the smaller stage inside), or on the guest list – press/photographer, friend, etc. - you’re waiting in the exact same line. Plan accordingly. Now for the positives: Once you enter the venue, they have all the merch set up directly to your right. This is nice because it is a little bit away from the stages, and you may actually have a chance of hearing the person trying to sell you something. Now that you’ve been standing in line for the last hour, there is also a restroom right as you walk in to freshen up before the show, and they seem to be kept fairly clean. Also, for all you 21+ concertgoers, there is a bar right in the entrance for you. Following in to your left, you will first hit The Constellation to your right. This is the smaller stage that has your favorite local bands on their way up… or down (you never know with this industry). They try to separate the sound from this room to the main stage with extra paneling, although there can be some overflow due to the nature of the set up when one stage gets quieter. And now for the main stage… What they have done with the place is incredible. A full bar runs the length of the backside of the room, and it appeared to be well staffed. The people who are more there to drink tend to stay towards the back, while the people there to dance tend to move to the front. But really, you can’t go wrong with a place to stand in this venue, as it is set up with tiered levels to give the most exposure to the performers. There is also a private seated balcony for people who want to enjoy dinner – I do believe there is a $20 minimum. As a previous photographer, I must make a comment about the lighting system, as they did not hold back. The rig they set up is very nice and professional and helps make a great show, and they have a devoted person controlling the lighting throughout the show to ensure the performers are well featured. And to top that off, the sound was impeccable – although I am sure the great talent of the acts performing didn’t hurt. The stage even has a slight riser in the front, small enough you can easily still see everything going on behind it, for the performers to stand on, which gives them a better ability to engage the crowd. All in all, a great venue and would of easily gotten 4 Stars if not for the entrance/parking debacle. They have a great talent buyer, with many awesome shows coming up, and I definitely recommend checking it out (see Schedule of Events above).
Good venue overall
Randy W. Oct 22, 2012
Nice venue with a few seats (a few reserved for diners only), but great stadium-style standing areas. The place isn't terribly large but the bands are small enough and tickets scarce enough that it won't be packed. The only problem with having two rooms is that you can hear the music from the smaller room outside, which is annoying when the band you're watching is playing something a bit softer.
OC's Best Music Venue
Daniel B. Sep 13, 2012
The Observatory is the OC's best concert venue. With the smaller Constellation Room, it doubles as two venues in one with headlining acts playing at the same time. It's mostly a rock venue, recently hosting headlining acts like X and The Hives, but is making a name for itself as a rising EDM venue with emerging electronic artists like STRFKR and Robert Delong. Each stage has a bar and The Observatory room takes dinner reservations with a full menu. The crowd is young, unpretentious, and generally just there for the music. A large smoking patio provides some break from the two rooms full of noise.
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