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The Amphitheaters

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Every region worth its salt needs an amphitheater– and the South Bay has three.

Defined as an oval building with tiers of seats around a central open area, like those used in ancient Rome for gladiatorial contests, rest assured that you won’t see animals eating gladiators anymore. You will be able to enjoy some of the hottest artists at Sleep Train Amphitheater located on the west side of Chula Vista. Check out the latest concerts or head across the street with your kids to the mammoth waterpark, Aquatica.

Sleep Train Amphitheater

The other two amphitheaters are much more serene.

Chula Vista’s Memorial Bowl (373 Park Way) was built during the Great Depression. Originally the bowl had a large water feature, but then a stage replaced it. The last renovation took place in 2005.

Chula Vista Memorial Bowl Chula Vista Memorial BowlA Veteran’s memorial is adjacent to the amphitheater, first erected in 1950 and then redesigned in 1986. The plaque reads: “Dedicated to the memory of Chula Vista heroes of all wars who so gallantly fought to preserve our American heritage that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

The City of Chula Vista also commemorates its veterans through an on-line “Veterans Memorial Hall.”

Chula Vista Memorial Bowl

Korean War, Vietnam War and Global War On Terror Commemoration

Chula Vista Memorial Bowl

World War II Commemoration

Probably the most interesting amphitheater is located in National City. Named after the city’s founder, Frank Kimball, Kimball Park Bowl Amphitheater (12th Street & D Ave) is abandoned and unused. You can stroll around here as though roaming old ruins or visit the ARTS: A Reason To Survive Center right next door.

This is the second oldest city park in San Diego, founded by Frank Kimball in 1887 when he set aside 30 acres at 12th Street an D Avenue. In the 1940’s the space was renovated to include the 5,700-seat amphitheater and a Veterans’ memorial.

Kimball Park Bowl Amphitheater Kimball Park Bowl Amphitheater

They don’t have a memorial to veterans anymore, but a notice says:

War Memorial Plaques Recovered

Thank you to everyone for your concern, your outrage and your coming together as a community that has helped to arrive at this positive juncture. God bless our veterans!

Three war memorial plaques stolen from Kimball Park in National City were found, intact, at a San Ysidro apartment complex Saturday evening, police said.

The bronzes honored National City residents who served, and died, in the military service during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The heavy, flat plaques were pried off a wall at the D Avenue park sometime last weekend — a crime that outraged city leaders and veterans’ organizations. Police said they likely had been stolen for their value at a metals recycling center.

However, about 7:15 p.m. Saturday, a resident at a Willow Road apartment complex in San Ysidro called National City police and said he’d found the missing memorials.

He saw them leaning against a fence in the parking lot, police Sgt. Derek Aydelotte said. He said the man did some internet research and realized they were the bronzes stolen from the park.

Officers recovered the plaques and found that one had been damaged. The extent of the damage was not described.

Aydelotte said an investigation continues to identify the thieves.

The announcement is undated.

Kimball Park Bowl Amphitheater

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2 Responses to The Amphitheaters

  1. Jack Gechter March 17, 2015 at 12:13 AM #

    There are (2) War Veterans Memorial Plaques at the Chula Vista Memorial Park site. .


    Dedicated to the memory of Chula Vista and South Bay Heroes of all wars who so gallantly fought to preserve our American Heritage that “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”.

    Designed and erected by the Citizens of Chula Vista 1950


    Dedicated to the memory of Chula Vista Heroes of all wars who so gallantly fought to preserve our American Heritage that “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”.

    Redesigned and Rededicated by the Citizens of Chula Vista 1986

  2. bzzaragoza March 17, 2015 at 4:08 AM #

    That’s GREAT additional information, Jack!! Thanks!

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