Places and Attractions

The Rainbow Ballroom

1725 Broadway Street Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 264-6404

About The Rainbow Ballroom

The Rainbow Ballroom was built in 1918 as an extravagant indoor swimming complex combining Modern and Mission Revival elements. Known then as The Fresno Natatorium it was transformed in 1924, the pool was drained and covered with a maple floor, part of a plush ballroom, replete with sculpture, heavy furniture and a big band stage. It was rechristened the “Rainbow Ballroom.” During World War II, Fresno was a military city with troops at Hammer Field and Camp Pinedale. Romances blossomed at the ballroom, where sometimes 1,000 couples danced into the night.

Musician and band leader Wally Johnson ran it from the 1930s to the 1960s, hosting Glenn Miller, Harry James, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington, who recorded his popular “Skin Deep” there in 1952. The ballroom flourished in the mid- 1960s and early 1970s, on the circuit for the “West Coast Rock Sound.” Legendary rock acts played there, including Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Carlos Santana Blues Band, Ike and Tina Turner Revue and Fleetwood Mac.

Today The Rainbow Ballroom is owned and operated by Valdivia Enterprises, and hosts Latin music concerts, parties, receptions, and dances.

1725 Broadway Street, Fresno, CA 93721. Call 559-264-6404 for more information.

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Listing Information

Classified Under: Historic Attractions
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