Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What safety precautions are you putting in place to combat the spread of COVID-19?

We will be following all guidelines set by the state at the time of the events. We will continue to update our website as we receive more information.

We know that things are still in flux. However, you can be guaranteed that we will only present shows when our cities and theaters say we can do so safely. We have secured back-up dates in Summer of 2021 if we learn certain dates make it impossible to gather in large venues.

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.

Where does the Distinguished Speaker Series take place?

The Distinguished Speaker Series is currently held at five locations:

Ambassador Auditorium
Series launched in 1997
131 S. Saint John Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91123
Theater: (626) 696-8702
Order Tickets: (310) 546-6222 Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00

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

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 Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00

The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center seats 1,500. We have been completely sold-out  for the past 16 seasons. Any available seats will be offered to those on the waiting list.  To get on the waiting list, go to the Contact page on this website.

Bank of America Performing Arts Center Thousand Oaks
Series launched in 2001
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Theater: (805) 449-2775 Tue-Fri 10:30 – 4:00
bapacthousandoaks.com

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 Saban Theatre
Series launched in 2015
8440 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Theatre: (888) 645-5006
Box Office: (310) 546-6222 Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00

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.

Terrace Theater
Replacing Orange County, this new series will begin in 2021
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 E Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Theater: (562) 436-3636
Order Tickets: (310) 546-6222 Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00

The Terrace Theater is located in Long Beach and seats up to 3,000.  This is a new series. Tickets are only sold in subscription packages to the entire 6 speakers. Series tickets are available in every price package. Individual tickets are not available.

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, Redondo Beach and Long 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, tickets remain available by Series, and the charge for the remaining events is prorated.

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 in 1997. 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.

How long is each lecture?

Each evening lasts around one and one-half hours. The Long Beach, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach series begin at 8:00 pm and are scheduled to end around 9:30 pm. The Westside series of Beverly Hills begins at 7:00 pm and is scheduled to end around 8:30 pm.

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.

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

When dealing with high-profile speakers, there is a small chance that a postponement or substitution of an event will occur. Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this has happened only a few times in the past 26 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.

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.

When do I get my tickets?

Series tickets are mailed out about a month before the first event.

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

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

You may use the form on our Contact 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 at (310) 546-6222 Monday through Friday, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm.

As a policy, we do not provide any of your address information to any other source. This policy applies to subscribers as well. You can read about this policy in our privacy policy

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, Margaret Thatcher, Maya Angelou, Robert Redford, Laura Bush, Joe Biden, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Jane Goodall, David McCullough, Colin Powell, Vin Scully, Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin, Anderson Cooper, Magic Johnson, Annie Leibovitz, 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.

Do you offer free tickets for high school classes?

Yes, we do offer complimentary tickets for high school children to attend the Westside, Long Beach 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. This program is not available at all theaters.

What is the View-From-Home option?

The View-From-Home option is a subscriber benefit. You must have a subscription to the live series to use this option.

In order to take advantage of this option, renew your seats as usual, and we will send you the booklet of tickets for the season. Each month, as we approach the in-person event if you do not feel comfortable coming in to the theater follow the below steps:

  1. Mail us your paper tickets to the individual event
  2. Provide us with the email address you would like to use to access the View-From-Home option
  3. You will be sent access to a private video of the event that will be accessible for a week following the speaker’s last evening

South Bay Series

Who do I contact for questions about this series?

For questions about our Redondo Beach location feel free to call the office at (310) 546-6222 or email [email protected]. Our office is open Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00.

Can I buy a subscription at the box office?

No, subscriptions for the South Bay Series location can be purchased through our website or by calling the office at (310) 546-6222.

How do I get on the waitlist for the South Bay Series location?

The South Bay Series has been sold-out for the past 16 years.  After the renewal period, we fill seats that have opened up from names on our waiting list.  In seasons past it has taken multiple years to get off the waitlist and into the South Bay Series.  You may use the form on our Contact 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 at (310) 546-6222 Monday through Friday, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm.

As a policy, we do not provide any of your address information to any other source. This policy applies to subscribers as well. You can read about this policy in our privacy policy.

I was a subscriber last season, but I am worried about coming to the theater for the 2021 season. What are my options?

We have created a View-From-Home option as a benefit to subscribers for the 2021 season. Renew your seats as normal, then as we approach each event subscribers can mail in their paper tickets and provide the email address they would like to use to access the virtual event. View-From-Home will be handled on an event by event basis, you cannot request the View-From-Home option earlier than one month before each event.

If instead you choose not to return, feel free to use the South Bay Non-Return Form to let us know what you would like to do with your outstanding tickets.

Pasadena Series

Who do I contact for questions about this series?

For questions about our Pasadena location feel free to call the office at (310) 546-6222 or email [email protected]. Our office is open Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00.

Can I buy a subscription at the box office?

No, subscriptions for the Pasadena location can be purchased through our website or by calling the office at (310) 546-6222.

I was a subscriber last season, but I am worried about coming to the theater for the 2021 season. What are my options?

We have created a View-From-Home option as a benefit to subscribers for the 2021 season. Renew your seats as normal, then as we approach each event subscribers can mail in their paper tickets and provide the email address they would like to use to access the virtual event. View-From-Home will be handled on an event by event basis, you cannot request the View-From-Home option earlier than one month before each event.

If instead you choose not to return, feel free to use the Pasadena Non-Return Form to let us know what you would like to do with your outstanding tickets.

Westside Series

Who do I contact for questions about this series?

For questions about our Westside Series feel free to call the office at (310) 546-6222 or email [email protected]. Our office is open Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00.

Can I buy a subscription at the box office?

No, subscriptions for the Beverly Hills location can be purchased through our website or by calling the office at (310) 546-6222.

What is happening to the George W. Bush and Dan Buettner events?

George W. Bush will be joining us as part of the 2021 season, if you choose to renew, the subscription prices will be prorated because you have already paid for his event.

Dan Buettner has been rescheduled to June 27, 2021. Your current tickets will be honored on the new date.

I was a subscriber last season, but I am worried about coming to the theater for the 2021 season. What are my options?

We have created a View-From-Home option as a benefit to subscribers for the 2021 season. Renew your seats as normal, then as we approach each event subscribers can mail in their paper tickets and provide the email address they would like to use to access the virtual event. View-From-Home will be handled on an event by event basis, you cannot request the View-From-Home option earlier than one month before each event.

If instead you choose not to return, feel free to use the Westside Non-Return Form to let us know what you would like to do with your outstanding tickets.

Thousand Oaks Series

Who do I contact for questions about this series?

For questions about the Thousand Oaks series feel free to contact them directly – The Box Office is open for telephone calls Tuesday – Friday 10:30 am – 4:00 pm (805) 449-2775.

Can I buy a subscription at the box office?

Box Office is not currently open.  Staff is available for phone calls Tuesday – Friday 10:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Bank of America Performing Arts Center Thousand Oaks is located at:

2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Their telephone number is (805) 449-2775

I was a subscriber last season, but I am worried about coming to the theater for the 2021 season. What are my options?

We have created a View-From-Home option as a benefit to subscribers for the 2021 season. Renew your seats as normal, then as we approach each event subscribers can mail in their paper tickets and provide the email address they would like to use to access the virtual event. View-From-Home will be handled on an event by event basis, you cannot request the View-From-Home option earlier than one month before each event.

If instead you choose not to return, feel free to use the Thousand Oaks Non-Return Form to let us know what you would like to do with your outstanding tickets.

Long Beach Series

Who do I contact for questions about this series?

For questions about the Long Beach series feel free to call the office at (310) 546-6222. Our office is open Mon-Fri 10:30 – 4:00.

Can I buy a subscription at the box office?

At this time their box office is closed, please go to www.speakersla.com to order. Or call the office at (310) 546-6222.

Orange County Series

Why have you left the Segerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa?

Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the management of the Segerstrom decided that they could not support our series format.  We worked hard to find a solution, but with the current unprecedented times, it was not possible.

What is happening with my remaining Orange County Series tickets to the Segerstrom?

Your tickets to Pres. George W. Bush will be refunded by the Segerstrom box office. Pres. George W. Bush will be joining us as part of our 2021 season at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.

Your tickets to Dan Buettner will be honored on his new date June 28, 2021 at the Segerstrom.

For further questions please call the Segerstrom box office at (714) 556-2787.

Back to top