The Pollock Theater is a 296-seat media exhibition hall equipped to show materials ranging from early silent films to the latest in digital filmmaking. The theater features a Barco 4K laser projector, a custom-built Meyer sound system and the only 35mm dual film projection system in Santa Barbara.

After a screening, the Pollock Theater offers a venue for conversations with filmmakers, critics, and scholars. These discussions are recorded using Sony broadcast and production equipment by the Pollock Theater student staff for presentation on UCTV. Our programs have received over 15.1 million online views.

The Michael Douglas Lobby provides a gathering space for post-screening receptions with our guests and theater patrons.


The Pollock Theater was first envisioned in 1994 as a proposed UCSB Center for the Film Arts that would serve as a gateway to the campus for scholars and the community by providing state of the art screening facilities to serve the University and Santa Barbara. The project attracted generous support from Dr. Joseph H. Pollock, Helene Pollock and their son, producer Tom Pollock, as well as actor Michael Douglas. The present site of the Pollock Theater was selected in 2004, and integrated into plans for the new Education, Social Sciences, and Media Studies complex. Construction began in 2007, and was completed by 2009.

The Theater hosted its first classes in fall of 2010 and, in spring 2011, presented its first major public screening event: a celebration of the television series Law and Order, created by Carsey-Wolf Center sponsor Dick Wolf. A classroom by day and theater by night, the Pollock hosts a wide array of public screening events, including a quarterly themed public programming series.