INFO Known locally as the Greek Theatre, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre is a sprawling amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley. Boasting 8,500 seats, the Greek Theatre was built... ... read more
Hearst Avenue & Gayley Road
Berkeley, CA 94720
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Known locally as the Greek Theatre, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre is a sprawling amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley.
Boasting 8,500 seats, the Greek Theatre was built in 1903 on the previous site of a more rugged outdoor bowl built in 1894 and known as Ben Weed’s Amphitheater. The aesthetics of the Greek Theater directly echo that of the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.
Then-president Benjamin Ide Wheeler served as the catalyst for the project, but the construction of the theatre was financed by newspaper millionaire William Randolph Hearst. While the Greek Theatre officially opened its doors in 1903 with a production of The Birds by Aristophanes, it also hosted a graduation address ceremony by President Theodore Roosevelt while still under construction in 1903.
There have been hundreds of musicals and theater performances at the Greek Theatre, as well as many college events including Commencement Convocation for graduating seniors and the Big Game Bonfire Rally prior to the Big Game every year against Stanford.
The Greek Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.