Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Phantom Projects Announces Expansion


Over the next 6 months, the 132-seat venue renamed The Phantom Projects Theatre at La Habra Depot will undergo renovations.

Phantom Projects Announces Expansion

For the last 24 years, La Mirada-based Phantom Projects Theatre Group has performed for nearly a million audience members throughout the United States, between a combination of touring shows that travel to schools, youth groups, and theatres throughout the United States, and their full-season of shows at their home base for the last 20 years, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

On March 18, 2020, as the world shut down, it all came to a screeching halt. The group, like so many other theatre organizations, faced the real possibility of shutting down.

One year later, 50 members of Phantom Projects Theatre Group crowded inside La Habra's City Hall overflow room to watch City Council vote on a 5-year agreement for a new manager, operator and programmer of the City-Owned, historic, La Habra Depot Theatre. With the unanimous vote of approval, Phantom Projects began work on restoring the venue, getting ready for an inaugural season.

Over the next 6 months, the 132-seat venue renamed The Phantom Projects Theatre at La Habra Depot, will get a face-lift of sorts with new carpeting in the seating area, flooring in the lobby and offices, and paint both inside and out. The neighboring train-cars that act as the dressing rooms for performers will also receive new flooring inside.

A Capital Campaign is underway to raise funds to overhaul the venue from a technical standpoint. Currently in progress is an Adopt-A-Seat Program, combined with offering Naming Rights to various areas of the theatre. The group is 25% of the way toward their $60,000 goal.

The naming rights to the Box Office and Concessions area have been purchased by local families. (Info on this can be found at

"I have fond memories of performing at the La Habra Depot as a 12-year old," said Steve Cisneros, Phantom's Founder and Producing Artistic Director. "Coming back 30 years later, but this time, with the keys to the building, feels very special. We can't wait to turn this historic venue into a cultural hub for Orange County."

While names and titles of upcoming performers and performances are still being finalized, the theatre will kick-off in January, 2022 with red-carpet gala event, followed by the official launch of a season in February, 2022.

Each season will include a family friendly series, a mainstage series to include musicals and plays, and special events such as concerts, comedy, open-mic nights, Karaoke, improv, and more. In addition, each season will feature ASL, sensory friendly and bilingual performances. The education department will expand as well, featuring acting, dancing and vocal classes for kids, adults, and seniors.

The new theatre is not a replacement, but an expansion on current operations. The troupe recently announced their 2021-2022 Season at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, national tours of Charlotte's Web and Teens on Tour, and a continuation of their So. Cal School Tours

Steve Cisneros created Phantom Projects when he was just 17 years old, in 1996. Starting off rehearsing in his parents' two-car garage in La Mirada, the troupe would formally launch in 1997.

In 2001, the troupe partnered with the City of La Mirada to become a Resident Presenting Group at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Over the years, the organization would present multiple premieres, receive awards and recognition, and be featured in almost every major media outlet including such notables as Forbes, LA Times, OC Register, CBS, NBC, FOX and nearly 50 more publications and networks.

In 2019, the troupe launched two shows on a national level, performing in Washington DC, Washington State, and Wyoming before Covid forced the closure of live theatres.

During the closure of live venues, the group switched to a digital format, producing video productions, talk shows and specials through a Netflix-style streaming site. Notably, the organization raised nearly $10,000 through a 2-day live-streamed telethon which featured performances from members of the group.

Related Articles View More Costa Mesa Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You