Long Beach: Arena's newly renovated ballroom welcomes Disney, pageants

Ariel, Rapunzel, the Beast and the rest of the crew of "Disney on Ice Rockin’ Ever After” glided into a new venue this week at the Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena.

The ballroom, a $7-million renovation project, also will provide the venue on Saturday (today) for the 2014 Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA pageants.

The waterfront arena, built in 1962, has changed little on the outside; it still features an iconic “Planet Ocean” mural by Robert Wyland that depicts gray whales and other sea creatures.  But the inside has been altered drastically and now features a massive steel tension-grid system that can change the size of the interior space. It also has high-tech lighting and sound systems.

The new Pacific Ballroom name is intended to convey the idea that the project has resulted in a new place. The grid, which can be raised or lowered, adds flexibility that increases the venue’s possible uses.

The Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau is pitching Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena as a place that can be customized for a range of occasions such as dinners, concerts, meetings or other special events.

 “The Pacific Ballroom, with its high-tech innovations, is the perfect canvas for any event,” said Bob Foster, Long Beach mayor. “It’s just another reason why more visitors should come to our dynamic city.”

Fifteen groups have booked the venue thus far, with the "Disney on Ice" show first up in 2014.

The Disney show runs through Sunday at the facility, 300 Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Tickets cost $22-$80. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, charged by phone at (800) 745-3000 or in-person at the venue  box office.

The Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA pageants will be held in the Terrace Theater section of the venue with final dress rehearsal at 10:30 a.m. and final coronation at 4 p.m., both Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster, charged by phone at (800) 745-3000 or in person at the venue  box office.

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