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2019 Big Fresno Fair Tickets
Home > Education > Museums > Big Fresno Fair Museum > History of the Paul Paul Theater

History of the Paul Paul Theater

The Paul Paul Theater has served as the main stage for headlining entertainment at The Big Fresno Fair for much of its long and storied history. Dating back to 1938, more than $12,000 was spent on improvements to the Fairgrounds in preparation for that year’s Fair, including the construction of a new bandstand, the Apollotorium, which provided the foundation for today’s Paul Paul Theater. When the Apollotorium was completed, it housed a movable stage that could be brought onto the horse track between races to provide entertainment to the crowds, as well as provided a setting for concerts, radio programs, speeches and vaudeville acts at the Fair.

In 1979, the stage would be named in honor of long time Board Member Paul Paul after his passing. Paul came to Fresno in August of 1904 at the age of nine. His family was among thousands of other families who were fleeing Turkey during the Armenian genocide. Since school officials at Kirk Elementary School could not properly pronounce his Armenian name, they registered him as Paul Paul – and the name stuck.

The Paul Paul Theater has seen dozens of famous faces, including artists from various genres of music who have entertained thousands over the years. This list below features past entertainers who have graced the Paul Paul Theater Stage.

  • Ariana Grande – 2012
  • Beach Boys - 1993, 2009, 2014
  • Billy Idol – 2011
  • Chicago – 2008, 2017, 2018
  • Chris Young – 2017
  • CNCO - 2018
  • Cole Swindell – 2016
  • Culture Club – 2018
  • Demi Lovato – 2008
  • Diana Ross – 2015
  • Dierks Bentley – 2014
  • Doobie Brothers – 1999, 2006
  • Dwight Yoakum – 1992, 2009
  • Earth Wind and Fire – 1998, 2008
  • Fleetwood Mac – 1994
  • Flo Rida – 2016
  • Fluffy – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Frankie Valli - 2008
  • Ja Rule & Ashanti – 2017
  • Jason Derulo – 2016
  • Jenni Rivera – 2006, 2008
  • Jonas Brothers – 2007
  • KC & The Sunshine Band – 1999
  • Kendrick Lamar – 2012
  • Kenny Chesney – 2001
  • Kool & The Gang – 2003, 1997
  • Lee Brice – 2018
  • Linda Ronstadt - 1989
  • Los Lonely Boys – 2001
  • Los Tigres Del Notre – 2009
  • Ludacris – 2018
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - 2012
  • Miranda Lambert – 2007
  • Paquita la del Barrio – 2012, 2018
  • Pepe Aguilar – 2008
  • Ramon Ayala – 2007, 2013
  • Ray Charles – 2002
  • Santana – 1990 &
  • Selena – 1993
  • Selena Gomez – 2010
  • Sheryl Crow – 1996
  • Smokey Robinson – 1989, 1990, 2008
  • The Isley Brothers – 1997, 2000
  • The Offspring – 2016
  • Tim McGraw – 1994
  • TLC – 1993
  • Toby Keith – 1995, 1997, 1998
  • Tony Bennet – 1990, 2014
  • Weezer – 2012
  • Ziggy Marley – 2007
  • ZZ Top – 2005, 2011
Big name acts continue to entertain at the Paul Paul Theater as part of the Table Mountain Concert Series presented by Coors Light and Toyota.

Click here to see this year’s entertainment!
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2019 Big Fresno Fair Tickets