FAQ

What is the Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California?

The Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California was established in 1996 to meet the important needs of the community – to educate, enlighten and inform.

Through a subscription series of speakers, the audience is exposed to the thoughts and insights of some of the greatest thought leaders of our time. Our distinguished speakers share with the audience their unique experiences and perspectives on a wide variety of topics – from world affairs & politics, to history & the environment, to books & authors, to business & economics, to the Arts & entertainment.  The Series consists of six evenings beginning in October and concluding in May.

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Where does the Distinguished Speaker Series take place?

The Distinguished Speaker Series is currently held at four locations:

Ambassador Auditorium (Series launched in 1997)
131 S. Saint John Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91123
Theater: (626) 696-8702
Order Tickets: (310) 546-6222

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center Redondo (Series launched in 1998)
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Theater: (310)318-0644
Order Tickets: (310) 546-6222

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (Series launched in 2001)
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Theater: (805) 449-2775

The Saban Theatre (Series launched in 2015)
8440 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Theatre: (888) 645-5006
Box Office: (310) 546-6222

The Ambassador Auditorium seats up to 1,300.  Tickets are only sold in subscription packages to the entire 6 speakers. Series tickets are available for sale in both packages. Individual tickets are not available.

Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza seats up to 1,800. Tickets are only sold in subscription packages to the entire 6 speakers or a mini-series of 4 speakers. Series tickets are available for sale in both packages. Individual tickets are not available.

The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center seats 1,500.  We have been completely sold-out for the past 13 seasons.

The Saban Theatre located in Beverly Hills seats 1,900. Tickets are only sold in subscription packages to the entire 6 speakers or a mini-series of 4 speakers. Series tickets are still available.  Individual tickets are not available for sale.

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Can I buy individual tickets?

No.  Tickets are sold in Series packages only. Tickets to individual events are not available. There are six separate lectures in the Series.

In Pasadena and Redondo Beach, you must buy the entire Series.  At the Beverly Hills and Thousand Oaks locations tickets are only sold in subscription packages to the entire 6 speakers or a Mini-Series of 4 speakers.

If a Series is not sold out when it begins in October, tickets remain available by Series, and the charge for the remaining events is prorated.

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Why is it sold as a Series?

We are frequently asked why we have discontinued the ability to purchase tickets to “just one speaker.”  There are several reasons.  First and foremost, selling tickets as a package allows us to advertise the Speakers Series at one time and reduces the overall cost of the Series.  Speaker’s fees, security and travel have increased tremendously since we first started the series in1997.  By selling as a package we can afford to bring world leaders to our community.   If we had to advertise and market each individual lecture (six times), the cost for the Series and the ticket prices would be substantially higher (at least triple).  For the same reason, there are no Senior or student discounts.

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How do I speak to someone over the telephone?

You can contact the Distinguished Speaker Series Company offices directly on the telephone Mon-Fri. 10:30am-4: 00pm at (310) 546-6222. Our fax number is (310) 796-1042.  Orders to the Pasadena, South Bay and Westside Series are taken through this office.

If you have questions regarding the Thousand Oaks Series, it is best to contact them directly:  Tues.-Fri. 10am-5: 30pm, Sat. 12noon -4pm at (805) 449-2775.

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Can I purchase the Series in person directly from the box office?

You can only purchase series tickets in person at the Thousand Oaks Series location.

Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
is located at:
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Their telephone number is (805) 449-2775
Box Office hours are Tue-Fri 10:00 am – 5:30 pm and Sat 12 noon – 4:00 pm

The South Bay and Westside Series do not have a Box Office.
You can contact the Distinguished Speaker Series company offices directly on the telephone Mon-Fri. 10:30am – 4:00pm at (310) 546-6222.

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How long is each lecture?

Each evening lasts around one and one-half hours. The Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach series begin at 8:00pm and are scheduled to end around 9:30pm. The Westside series of Beverly Hills begins at 7:00pm and is scheduled to end around 8:30pm. Each evening begins with a short introduction. The speaker’s presentation averages around an hour. Following the speaker’s remarks, audience questions are posed to the speaker. The “Q&A” period belongs to the audience. This 30-45 minute session, during which the speaker clarifies or amplifies previous remarks or offers spontaneous and revealing new information, is often the most interesting portion of the evening.

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Why are there not refunds for a postponement or substitution of a speaker?

When dealing with such high-profile people, there is a small chance that a postponement or substitution of a speaker will occur. This has happened only a few times in the past 21 years. When you purchase tickets to the Series, you must assume this very small risk. Our brochure and application state that speakers are subject to substitution and/or rescheduling. We make every attempt to reschedule the same speaker at a later time or bring in a comparable speaker on the same date.

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Is the Speakers Series only for adults?

No! The Speakers Series is a unique opportunity to share something informative and inspirational with high school and college age students. It provides a wonderful opportunity for family dialogue on important issues, such as international affairs, American politics, current events, books and authors.

The Speakers Series is an opportunity to share informative and inspirational programs with community members, including mature high school and college-age children. It provides a wonderful opportunity for family dialogue on important issues, such as international affairs, American politics, current events, science, economics, popular books and authors.

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When do I get my tickets?

Series tickets are mailed out in early September.

If a Series is not sold out and you order tickets later in the year, processing and ticketing usually take 1-2 weeks.

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How do I get on the waiting list for a sold-out series?

You may use the form on our Contact Us page to send your name, address and a daytime phone number, and we will be happy to add you to our waiting list. Or you may telephone the office Mon-Fri. 10:30am- 4: 00pm at (310) 546-6222.   As a policy, we do not provide any of your address information to any other source. (This policy applies to subscribers as well.) Click here for our privacy policy.

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Can I get an audiotape, videotape or transcript of the talk?

By contract, we do not create any of these for public use. Very seldom in our history has this been done, and it required special permission from several sources.

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Why is the Distinguished Speaker Series so popular?

The Distinguished Speaker Series is popular because it is, unlike television, an interactive experience. You get to see and hear famous people up close such as his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair,Margaret Thatcher, Maya Angelou, Robert Redford, Laura Bush, Tom Brokaw, Madeleine Albright, Jane Goodall, David McCullough, Shimon Peres, Walter Cronkite, Colin Powell, Bill O’Reilly, Betty White, Yo Yo Ma and John Wooden to name a few, coming from all walks of life to share their views and opinions with the Distinguished Speaker Series audiences.  Again, unlike television, our guests have time to elaborate at length about their topic as opposed to TV “sound bites.” This is a rare, educational experience for little time and money.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is an easy, effective, enjoyable way to keep up-to-date on current affairs, which includes domestic and international perspectives. Often, friends and small groups attend together and discuss the program after the session.  Following a speaker’s appearance, the talk around town often times has to do with what that speaker said the night before.

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Do you offer free tickets for high school classes?

Yes, we do offer complimentary tickets for high school children to attend the Westside and Thousand Oaks speakers, if seats are available.

We call the program SHARE THE VISION.  We try to limit this to one class per high school.  This must be organized with a teacher or school official.  The original request of interest must come on official school letterhead. Please email us or call the Distinguished Speaker Series office directly at (310) 546-6222 for further instructions and requirements.

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