The Del Mar Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
City Life

BOLO Best Bets: The Del Mar is back, and Kuumbwa, Jewel Theatre and Capitola Art & Wine with it

Hi friends,

The next few days mark a return to several treasured Santa Cruz performance spaces, none more spectacular than the beautiful old Del Mar movie house, back in action after months of pandemic closure. The first film opening at the Del Mar is the Oscar Isaac thriller “The Card Counter,” but it hardly matters what’s playing. Many locals are going to be there just to soak up the great old cinema again and remind ourselves never to take it for granted.

The same dynamic might also apply to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, rebooting its stellar Monday night jazz series after a long pandemic pause, and the Colligan Theater, where the Jewel Theatre Company is set to resume its run of fine live theater for the first time in a year and a half.

And save some energy for all the great festival action ahead, from Capitola Art & Wine this weekend, to the Sea Walls mural festival, the Frequency arts festival at the Museum Art & History, the Watsonville Film Festival and the Santa Cruz County Fair, all coming next week. Here comes a September to remember.

— Wallace Baine

Lookout Santa Cruz’s BOLO (Be On the Lookout) calendar is “your place to go for things to do” in Santa Cruz County.

See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.


Best Bets is presented by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, CineLux Theatres and Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce.

Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:

(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)


The Del Mar Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Del Mar Theatre reopens: In what is sure to be a massive relief to most all Santa Cruzans, the historic Del Mar Theatre will finally be opening its doors once again this Friday. A local staple since 1936, going to a matinee or an evening flick in the Art Deco time capsule of a venue that is the Del Mar has been sorely missed. Some of the first feature films to be screened include Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter,” a revenge thriller starring Oscar Isaac, and “Language Lessons,” a comedy-drama film written and directed by star Natalie Morales and co-starring indie mumblecore staple Mark Duplass. Come out to the Del Mar and experience the joy of big-screen cinema once again.

“Without Getting Killed or Caught”: Anyone who loves Texas and music, not necessarily in that order, would have to be intrigued by the new documentary “Without Getting Killed or Caught,” which tells the story of adored Texas troubadours Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. The film is told from the point of view of fellow songwriter (and Guy Clark’s wife) Susanna Clark and unfolds in heartbreak and tragedy. The West Coast premiere is sponsored by Santa Cruz’s Snazzy Productions and will feature a live music intro and a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers. All at the beautiful Rio Theatre.

— Max Chun and Wallace Baine


The Allah-Las.

Allah-Las: The Los Angeles band Allah-Las sound like they emerged from a garage somewhere in West Covina circa 1965, but in fact they sprung up in 2008 as a side project of four employees of Amoeba Records on Hollywood Boulevard. The band is known for laying down shimmery, quintessential West Coast vibes with a taste of psychedelia and surf guitar. But in recent years, they’ve allowed their sound to drift away from gauzy dream pop and more into a Grateful Dead grooviness. They play live Friday at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Little Hurricane: Their friends and fans know them as “Tone and CC,” but officially they are Little Hurricane, a San Diego-based husband-wife duo that specializes in big, ballsy, road-trip blues-rock, often recorded on vintage instruments and always with an ear to the great tradition of no-nonsense American roots music. Guitarist and singer Anthony “Tone” Catalano is reportedly originally from Santa Cruz, so he might have some hometown love to share with the audience at Moe’s Alley in a show originally scheduled for Aug. 7.

Cracker: Local rock fans going back to the 1980s already know that Santa Cruz’s notorious indie band Camper Van Beethoven eventually spawned Cracker, thanks to Camper’s David Lowery and his appetite for experimentation. Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman have now been jamming as Cracker for close to 30 years, culminating in 2014’s landmark album “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” which, as its title suggests, ranks as one of the finest California-flavored albums of the 21st century. Lowery visits his old stomping grounds with a show at Felton Music Hall on Sunday.

Joshua Redman: For more than 40 years, Santa Cruz has been a prominent name in international jazz, thanks to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center and its weekly Monday night concerts featuring some of the finest musicians walking the planet. For the past year and a half, those shows have been quickly fading memories. But on Monday, the Kuumbwa again joins the jazz circuit with the resumption of its terrific Monday night series. This time out, it’s the incomparable Joshua Redman, innovative post-bop saxophonist and longtime friend of Kuumbwa. If you don’t yet have tickets for the two performances on Monday, better luck next time. But if you have tickets for the sold-out shows, you’ll be witnessing history. Kuumbwa is back, baby.

— Wallace Baine


A scene from the Jewel Theatre's production of "Heisenberg."
(Via Jewel Theatre)

“Heisenberg”: So, where were we? Just as the COVID-19 shutdown hit back in March 2020, the actors and crew of Santa Cruz’s Jewel Theatre were getting ready to mount a new production of the intriguing two-person sorta-romance “Heisenberg” with Paul Whitworth and Erika Schindele. Fast forward 18 months and one pandemic later, and Jewel is set to pick up right where it left off, making “Heisenberg” its first show in an ambitious new season at the beautiful Colligan Theater. Jewel shakes off the cobwebs with Wednesday’s opening night, in a production to run through Oct. 10.

— Wallace Baine

Presented by UC Santa Cruz

Set for September 24, the event is an opportunity for new and returning students and the community to connect with...


Poster for the 2021 Capitola Art and Wine Festival

Anthony Arya at Midtown Block Party: Every Friday in the heart of Midtown, a parking lot is transformed into a venue filled with local artists, food vendors and new performers every week. Santa Cruz native Anthony Arya, this week’s headline musical act, is a crowd favorite, voted by the community as Under 18 Person of the Year in 2019. Arya’s music — folk rock with blues and jazz influences — is played frequently on roots station KPIG.

Capitola Art and Wine Festival: Another local institution comes out of pandemic hibernation this weekend as Capitola hosts its 38th art and wine festival. This yearly event is one of the county’s finest gatherings of local artisans, musicians and other vendors, complemented by wines from 20 Santa Cruz Mountains wineries. The food court offers a similar range of tantalizing options, including Bill the Oysterman, Falafel of Santa Cruz, Happy Dog Hot Dogs, India Gourmet, Souza’s Rice Bowls, and Holopono and Saucey’z food trucks. The festival will also include a kids section offering ongoing craft projects and musical play featuring Musical Me. Masks are required in all indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status; while face coverings are not required outdoors, they are recommended in crowded outdoor settings.

Downtown Santa Cruz Antique Faire: On the second Sunday of every month, vendors take to downtown to put on the Santa Cruz Antique Faire. You’ll find an eclectic blend of antique and unique items, vintage clothing, collectibles and more Lincoln Street between Cedar Street and Pacific Avenue.

Santa Cruz County Fair: The Santa Cruz County Fair returns for five days at the Fairgrounds in Watsonville. Though the kiddie carnival is absent this year, the monster trucks return, and there will be two tractor parades daily in addition to live bands, livestock and other agricultural competitions, collection displays.

— Haneen Zain & Max Chun


Poster for Sea Walls Santa Cruz

Sea Walls Santa Cruz: Artists for Oceans will paint 15 murals in six days when the globetrotting artist/activist movement descends on Santa Cruz. The group mobilizes artists around the world to raise awareness about ocean conservation. The Tannery Arts Center will act as the project’s headquarters, where visitors can pick up mural walking maps, obtain more information on the event and take part in public programming. Activities such as youth outreach, waterfront cleanups, mural walking tours, and a film screening will make it a family-friendly experience open to everyone. The project is produced by the Made Fresh Crew, led by Taylor Reinhold, with 14 other artists including Caia Koopman and Tannery-based Abi Mustapha.

Cabrillo Gallery artist talks: The ongoing online Cabrillo Gallery exhibition “Adaptations” is presenting a series of three online artists’ talks the next three weeks in September, starting with “Adaptations: Natural Selection” on Thursday at 6 p.m., when Ann Thierman, Dawn Nakanishi, Andree LeBourveau, Joe Cosentino and Sylvia Rios will discuss the way nature inspires their work. On Wednesday in “Adaptations: Evolving in a Changing World,” artists will examine the effects of COVID-19 on the psyche. And “Adaptations: Shifting States of Being” on Wednesday, Sept. 22, will cover various aspects of portraiture. The events are free but require registration for a Zoom link.

— Laurel Bushman


Flyer for the Santa Cruz Block Party for Clean Water

Santa Cruz Block Party For Clean Water: Gravity Water hosts this block party for a good cause just behind Harbor Cafe. There will be food from Saucey’z food truck, beer from Shanty Shack and Humble Sea and a film showcasing Gravity Water’s recent work — plus a community art mural for all to participate in. Event profits will go toward clean water projects abroad and Gravity Water’s mission to provide access to underserved students in Nepal and Vietnam.

— Max Chun


Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History biodiversity treasure hunt

Biodiversity Day Treasure Hunt: Hosted by the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the Biodiversity Day Treasure Hunt aims to show how much is happening in nature even in the middle of an urban neighborhood. Museum staff will be training participants in using the iNaturalist app, sharing resources for species identification, and assisting all attendants to get the most out of California Biodiversity Day. If you’re all about the great outdoors, curious about the county’s native plants and animals, or simply have kids who want to run around the park, the Natural History Museum has you covered.

— Max Chun


The entrance to Stockwell Cellars on Santa Cruz's Westside

Sip, Savor and Sway with PANA Food Truck: PANA Food Truck will be preparing its Venezuelan arepas to the tunes of George Zaferes of the Ten O’Clock Lunch Band and veteran Santa Cruz guitarist Dave Preschutti at Stockwell Cellars’ weekly Westside event.

— Haneen Zain


Screenshot from Santa Cruz Mountains Brewing

Westside Comedy Night: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing has lined up comedians from across the Bay Area for shows every week. Regulars from The Punch Line San Francisco, Cobb’s Comedy Club, Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club and more make their way to Santa Cruz for these one-night events.

— Haneen Zain


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