A Protest Worth Performing: The 1970's Grassroots Movement to "Save the Pier!"


A cause worth fighting for, protest posters pitched high the sky and citizens rallying on the steps of City Hall... it's a familiar scene that plays out daily across the country and throughout the world. However, this 1970's grassroots movement didn't own a hashtag, logo or social handle. It had a rallying cry that echoed passionately throughout the city of Santa Monica. This month, the story is told in "Save The Pier!", a free one-hour play performed on the west end of the Santa Monica Pier. For three nights, April 20-22, playgoers can re-live the 1972 fight to save the landmark from the ominous grip of city planners.

In 1972, Santa Monica City Council proposed plans to build a 35-acre, man-made island to host a resort hotel in Santa Monica Bay and consequently demolish the beloved Santa Monica Pier. "Save the Pier!" depicts the personalities of the rally leaders who fought against the city's plan, the challenges they faced to save the pier and how they initiated the movement of historic preservation in Santa Monica. Written, produced, and directed by local Santa Monica residents, the play stages the audience directly on the deck of the Pier, with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.

Directed by Tony Award-winning actor Paul Sand, the play tracks two pier activist groups working independently to rally the community to petition the city council's proposal. One group was lead by Jack Sikking, a political mastermind who left Hollywood's iconic music venue, The Troubadour, to manage Al's Kitchen on the Pier and who organized restaurant staff and guests to join in the fight. The other group was captained by Diana Cherman, head of the Santa Monica Pier Citizen's Committee, who solicited signatures from locals and visitors, including Paul Newman and Robert Redford who were filming scenes of The Sting on the Pier. The script was penned by playwright James Harris, Deputy Director for Santa Monica Pier Corporation and author of Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier. The production thanks its partners for helping to bring the show to life: The Albright, Seaside on the Pier and the Santa Monica Pier Lessee's Association.

"Save The Pier!"

Performance Dates:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

April 20, 21, 22 at 8:00pm

Tickets: Free – RSVP Here

Santa Monica Pier (west end) 200 Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica, CA 90401

santamonicapier.org/savethepier/

7111 Santa Monica Blvd #605
West Hollywood, CA, 90046

  • facebook
  • Twitter Round
  • Instagram - Black Circle