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Since it opened in 1958, this seaside hall has been the site of historic performances by many historic performers, from James Brown, the Doors, the Beach Boys, Elton John and the Rolling Stones to the Ramones, Sarah Vaughn, the Buzzcocks, Bruce Springsteen and the Cramps. David Bowie found stateside success at a crucial concert here in the early 1970s. The Clash made their Southern California debut at the Civic, and other musicians who've played its wide stage include Bo Diddley, Motorhead, the Descendents, Tex & the Horseheads, X, the Plasmatics, Iggy Pop, Gang of Four, Ian Hunter, Aerosmith and occasional Dogtown regular Bob Dylan. For much of the 1960s, the Civic was also home to the Academy Awards. The venue continues to be the site of all manner of activity, including fashion and trade shows, as well as live concerts. The venue's dance floor features a unique hydraulic floor that makes it easy to transform the room from a concert hall into an exhibit space.

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