Back in the Day

On April 1, 1916 land for what is now Stough Park was acquired by the City by deed of gift from Oliver J. Stough for the exclusive use as public parkland.

O.J. Stough was one of the last surviving veterans of the Mexican-American War in 1846. Stough later moved to Burbank and bought the first installment of what became a huge Burbank property in 1883. Part of the land included the parcels eventually developed for Stough Park and Civic Center Park (McCambridge Park).

Stough Park includes both the Starlight Bowl and the lower portion of the park. Park trails, roads, stone walls, picnic areas, and other improvements were constructed throughout the 1930’s. The park was used for camping programs in the early 1950’s.

The summer of 1935 marked the first scheduled use of a natural bowl amphitheater (Starlight Bowl) located in Stough Park for live performances. Discarded telephone poles were imbedded in the ground for seating. On June 1, 1951 the Burbank Starlight Theatre was dedicated. On March 26, 1957 the City Council approved changing the name to “Starlight Bowl”.

In August 1959 a construction project was completed that added two-levels to the facility. The addition would function as a storage area for instruments. The lower level would serve Civil Defense. Construction of the acoustical shell was completed in 1965.