Santa Paula historic downtown

The Main Street district of Santa Paula is a popular filming location for movies because of its historical authenticity. It looks like a movie set, but it is the real thing! Most of the downtown was constructed between 1885 and 1910 when the population of the city more than quadrupled (from 500 to 2,200).


This growth put Santa Paula into the first ranks of Ventura County municipalities, only slightly behind Ventura in size. Merchants built stores for the growing population with names like the Star Clothing Company, Ike Brown’s Cash Grocery, and Santa Paula Steam Laundry. Larger business concerns like Union Oil Company, Limoneira Company, and First National Bank located on Main Street, constructing headquarters buildings for themselves.

The oldest construction on Main Street is thought to be the John Scott building at 958 East Main Street, built in the 1870s. Significant renovation of the downtown took place in the 1950s when building facades were updated to reflect modern times. This facelift gave the downtown its current nostalgic 50s look, making Main Street very popular with film companies and advertisers looking to create period commercials. Main Street is today an enchanting blend of multiple eras of architectural styling, from the late 1800s into the 1950s. It is an historical treasure that invites exploration by shoppers and visitors!

click on image for larger view
click on image for larger view

Copyright 2006, City of Santa Paula, California
Photographs used in this website taken by Craig Mailloux, copyright 2006


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