CC Museum of Science and History

Harbor Playhouse - Sports Arts & Entertainment at SEA District in Corpus Christi, Texas

On February 12, 1925, a group recruited by a newspaper advertisement and directed by Marie Marion Barnett, did a single performance of Booth Tarkington’s “Seventeen” at the old high school on Carancahua Street. The Corpus Christi Players, as they came to be known, produced approximately four plays annually for 23 years, until struggling and disbanding during the depression in 1936. In 1940, the group reunited, using Wynn Seale Middle School on Ayers Street as their community theater home.

In 1948, the Corpus Christi Players incorporated under the name “Little Theater,” performing at a various locations including Wynn Seale Middle School Auditorium, the White Plaza Hotel, the Gillespie Show Room and the Town Club until building its own facility – The Little Theater Building – on Alameda Street in 1950.

After 26 years, The Little Theater became the Harbor Playhouse and moved to its present location in what is now known as Corpus Christi’s SEA District.

The Harbor Playhouse’s present building was built on city-owned land with funds provided by the Earl C. Sams Foundation. It was completed in 1976. Soon after construction, the building itself was donated back to the City of Corpus Christi. The first production, “1776”, opened in April, 1976 in the new 454 seat auditorium.

Over the years, several additions and modifications were added to the Harbor Playhouse as it improved and expanded its scope. Today, the Harbor Playhouse is recognized as one of the oldest and finest community theaters in Texas. It has added a very important cultural dimension to the Coastal Bend area which continues to be enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages.