The Marin Civic Center, also called simply the Marin Center, is a large domed venue that is designed to house the Marin County offices, provide meeting rooms for county citizens, art exhibits and theatrical performances.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Esteemed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the venue in the 1950s with its stucco exterior, domed roof and prominent arch work. As with other Frank Lloyd Wright structures, the building is designed to coordinate with the nearby landscape, both in external design and color.
Multiple Gathering Facilities
If you're paying a visit to the Civic Center, it can be helpful to know that it is divided into three main parts, which are as follows:
- Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium - This large theater holds 1,960 guests. You're likely to see the Marin Symphony and famous speakers and musical acts in this area. It's also suitable for showing films.
- Showcase Theater - This smaller but more plush auditorium holds up to 315 persons. It's designed specifically for multimedia presentations, with theatrical lighting and an advanced studio sound system. It allows presenters to show both slides and 16 millimeter films.
- Exhibit Hall - If you're going to a convention in the San Francisco area, you may find yourself in this room. It's a full 22,500 square feet in size and can hold up to 105 exhibitor's booths. Alternately, you may find yourself here for a large scale lunch or dinner celebration or for a very expensive wedding.
Besides these three main areas, the Marin Civic Center has several smaller meeting rooms, seating anywhere from 20 people to 150 people. It also has an outdoor fairgrounds, complete with a lagoon, gardens and 6,000 person capacity park. The park is designed for outdoor barbecues, picnics and festivals.
Civic Center Schedule
If you'd like to know what's going on at the Civic Center on any given day, the easiest way is to consult the online calendar. Simply locate the date you're interested in and click on "view day."
If you'd like to buy tickets to cultural performances, you can stop by the box office at the Auditorium, Monday to Saturday; purchase them online, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a check for the ticket price plus a $3 service charge to Marin Center Box Office, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903. Make your check payable to the Marin Center Box Office.
You may be able to get a discount if you order tickets in bulk. Bulk is considered 15 or more tickets. To find out if you qualify, call 415-499-6800. You can also call this number if you'd like to purchase gift certificates.
Getting to the Marin Civic Center
The Civic Center is located at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael, which is about 20 miles north of San Francisco. To reach it from San Francisco, take 101 North and get off on the North San Pedro exit. Head east on the off ramp and turn left onto Civic Center Drive. After passing the lagoon, you will see Avenue of the Flags on the right. There is ample free parking available.
If you'd like to take public transportation instead of driving, the building is on a Golden Gate bus route. To find out which bus you should take, go online to the 511 Trip Planner or call 415-455-2000.