Empress Theater

About Us


Empress Theatre

A Classic
Arts Center

Historic Performing Arts Center in downtown Vallejo

330 Virginia Street, Vallejo, CA

Live music,  dance, orchestral music, and family entertainment at an historic performing arts center near the beautiful waterfront district of Vallejo. Three blocks from the Ferry Terminal.

Historic Theater

The Empress Theatre was built in 1911 by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a historical landmark in the heart of downtown Vallejo, California. The Empress Theatre is operated by the Vallejo Center for the Arts (VCA), a non-profit corporation, which reopened the Theatre in 1991. Historic Theatres are the legacy of visionary showmen who build them showcasing entertainment that was uniquely American. The Empress Theatre programming includes jazz, comedy, symphonic music, opera, films, dance, and more!

Vallejo Center for the Arts

For over 23 years, the Vallejo Center for the Arts (VCA) has been promoting and sponsoring arts organizations, artists and special community events, presenting award-winning art exhibitions, hosting public forums, providing grants to arts groups, and offering arts education programs such as our highly praised Summer Arts Camp for children 7-14 years of age. VCA is proud to serve as an “umbrella organization” to small Vallejo arts groups and special projects, enabling them to develop funding and awareness for their art-related programs.

Summer Arts Camp 2024 


July 16 – July 26, 2024

Campers are presented with a variety of media as they build skills in drawing, painting, mosaics, silk screen, lino cut prints, alcohol inks, collage, clay, photography and more. The camp culminates with an exhibition of camper artwork on display at the Temple Arts Loft and a public performance by camp participants on the stage of the Empress Theatre.

Our Vision, Mission & Impact


A beacon of artistic diversity and community enrichment, our nonprofit performing arts venue is committed to fostering a vibrant cultural tapestry by presenting a kaleidoscope of musical genres, offering educational programs and showcasing inspiring art exhibitions.


Empowering our community through the transformative power of the arts, our mission is to create a dynamic and inclusive space at our nonprofit performing arts venue. By fostering a welcoming environment, we strive to enrich lives, break down barriers, and cultivate a shared appreciation for the boundless expressions of human creativity.


Through the universal language of the arts, we strive to create a harmonious and inclusive space that transcends boundaries, fosters creativity, and empowers individuals to connect, learn, and flourish together.


Our People

Renay Conlin

Executive Director

Renay Conlin is a former executive director of Napa Valley Museum and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and has served as Director of Development at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

While still a high school student In New York City, Renay attended the prestigious Juilliard School of Music at Lincoln Center and the Conservatoire de Fontainebleau in Paris. Later she earned degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. After a 20-year international career as a professional operatic soprano, she embarked on a second career in arts administration and education.

Prior to relocating to Napa in 2010, Renay was Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and executive and artistic director of Toledo Opera. At the University of Charleston, she served first as chair of the Department of Music and then as director of development and alumni relations. While there she founded the Appalachian Children’s Chorus and served on the boards of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the West Virginia Youth Orchestra.

Renay is married to Grammy award-winning symphony and opera conductor Thomas Conlin. Their daughter, Vanessa, is Vice President and Head of Wine at the Napa-based online wine distributor WineAccess.com. Renay continues to serve as a fundraising consultant for local non-profits with whose mission she sympathizes, such as Jameson Humane. She recently stated that she regarded the opportunity to collaborate with VCA’s visionary board and supporters of the arts a real privilege, and she shares their commitment to creating a vibrant and robust community of artists in Vallejo.


Darrin Hodges

General Manager

Darrin Hodges has a wealth of experience as a former General Manager and Facilities Manager in the nonprofit and government administration sectors. With an impressive career spanning over 35 years, Darrin has cultivated a robust background in operations, specializing in contract management and negotiations for diverse commercial spaces encompassing more than 22,000 square feet throughout various locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In his role, Darrin demonstrated adept leadership by overseeing the day-to-day operations department, managing a multifaceted team responsible for security, maintenance, janitorial services, event coordination, stagehands, banquet management, hospitality staff, and box office sales. His comprehensive oversight ensured the seamless functioning of commercial spaces in a dynamic and demanding environment.

Darrin managed an operations budget exceeding $2 million steering all aspects of a mixed-use facility which boasted an array of components, including a full-service café, five dance studios, 75 single-room occupancy units, commercial office space, a 400-seat community theater, a 2,500-seat amphitheater, and a sprawling 53-acre estate.


Tim MacDonald


Marilyn Manfredi

 Vice President

Tara Beasley-Stansbury


Shelee Loughmiller






 Lisa Chui

Chris Chwala

Eva Garcia

 John Hodson

Dennis Kittelson

 Robert Litwin

Susan MacDonald

Katy Miessner

Brian O’Reilly

Deanna Troupe








Renay Conlin

Executive Director

Darrin Hodges

General Manager

Mercedes Ervin

Executive Administrative Assistant

JoAnn Wray

Box Office

Joseph Ingram

Sound Technician

Dan Hess

Lighting Technician





People Love Us


Beautifully restored theater with state-of-the-art sound and lighting presenting world-class music .

Geoff Drake

It was a great experience to be in this historical place. You can feel the energy of so much talent that has touched the stage. I was super excited when I was told that I was allowed to work the camera system for the night. Great place for sit-down events and movie screenings. Thanks for having me.

EA Films

I love the Empress Theatre. They always have different shows for great prices. It’s a great place if you want to try something new. They have tons of different shows, for example, I went to a Johnny Cash tribute concert and a week later I went to a magic show and both were great shows. If you’re looking for a good time you should definitely look into seeing a show at the Empress.

Armando Mendoza

Enjoyed watching the Superbowl at this location. The environment was clean, well-lit, and enjoyable. They had a large theater screen along with a screen at the bar area and another in a private lounge room. Free admission. The food was excellent and the drinks were well made. The Empress is upcoming and will soon give the Paramount, Bal, and Fox theaters a run for their money(this is a smaller venue but cozy like the old Circle Start theater on the peninsula years ago.)

Gary Samuels

Empress Lounge, cozy place to have a drink and listen to some good music 🎵.

Blanca Rubalcaba

On October 30th History in the making happened for not only my family but also for all the first pioneers of Filipinos to settle in Vallejo. My grandmother Marian Argonza Hopwood had a wonderful speech and amazing facts about my family being here in Vallejo for 100 years. I’m proud to be a Vallejoen. 😊🙏🏼

Andrew H.

I just love the Empress lounge Wednesday nights! Every time I go to the Wednesday night show I thoroughly enjoy it. Everyone I bring to the shows thinks they are great also. I like the lounge shows because I wear hearing aids and the music is easier to listen to because it’s not so loud. You can also get pretty great seating right up front if you like. One time they had a taco bar but another time when they didn’t they allowed us to bring our own food in and we went down to Gracie‘s to get some food to bring in. I’m sure I’ll keep going and bringing my friends. I hope the lineup quality continues.

Herman Bustamante Jr.

Empress Theater

Established 1911

:30Contact Info

Empress Theatre

330 Virginia St, Vallejo, CA 94590

Please call  707-552-2400
for assistance with tickets.

The Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.







Accessibility Information


The Vallejo Center for the Arts (VCA)and the Empress Theatre are committed to
ensuring that all patrons have a wonderful time while they are here! We ask our guests
to conduct themselves in a respectful way in accordance with the code of conduct and
all laws and local ordinances.

The Empress Theatre is located at 330 Virginia Street Vallejo, CA. The theater is
wheelchair accessible from the main entrance.


Wheelchair accessible seating is available in the Orchestra section of the auditorium.
The Empress Theatre does not provide wheelchairs and the staff is not able to assist
patrons in transferring to or from a wheelchair, theater seat, or vehicle; operate
motorized mobility aids such as scooters; or to provide personal attendant services such
as assisting patrons in the restroom, or with similar activities.


Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located in the lobby of the Empress Theatre.


A wireless FM Assistive Listening System is available for all performances. Headsets
and neck loops with T-coil functionality are available free of charge in the Empress
Theatre lobby (see House Manager). A valid I.D. or credit card is required as a security
deposit and will be returned upon return of the headset.


Patrons of all ages are welcome at our venue and are expected to be considerate of
other patrons in attendance.


Service Animals are welcomed at the Empress Theatre. As of March 15, 2011, only
dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. In addition, the
service dog must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks that are directly
related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or
emotional support no longer qualify as service animals under the ADA. For more
information, please visit www.ada.gov.


The Vallejo Center for the Arts strictly adheres to all local and state laws regarding
alcohol consumption. Wine and beer, along with other assorted beverages, and snacks
may be purchased in the Empress Lounge and at the concession booth in the Empress
lobby. Guests should expect to be carded for appropriate identification.

No outside alcohol is permitted.


Smoking/Vaping and use of tobacco, including e-cigarettes, will be prohibited at the
Vallejo Center for the Arts.


Lost and Found items may be claimed by conducting the Box Office. If you are seeking
lost items, please call 707.552.2400.