Terrace Plaza Fountains Receive First Major Facelift Since Construction in Mid-70s

Photos courtesy of the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

When Mayor Robert Garcia reached out in early 2017 to Steve Goodling, the president and CEO of the ‎Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, about renovating the Terrace Theater Plaza fountains, one word came to mind: Bellagio.

“This is a mini Bellagio,” Goodling said of the convention center’s newly designed water feature on Ocean Boulevard.

The “dancing water” show was debuted last Friday by Garcia—who was initially inspired by the water fountains at the Glendale Galleria—showcasing the synchronization of light, music and water to guests in attendance and can now be enjoyed by passersby every night, with five different shows (expect more in the future) at the top and bottom of the hour, every 30 minutes up until 10:00PM.

“I love that the entire space is now activated,” Goodling told the Post ahead of the unveiling. “When the original fountains were built it was just the front pool that was activated so once you passed the front pool, there really wasn’t much water feature action going on. Now the upper pool and the lower pool are both activated with water features.”

The $1.5 million new fountain system, which hasn’t seen a major renovation since it was constructed along with the Terrace Theater and Plaza in the mid-1970s, was designed by a group from Florida with experience designing fountains for Disney. It took less than three months for the fountain basin to be transformed, according to CVB officials.

The end product in Long Beach is “theatrically animated fountains using dozens of nozzles capable of creating intricate water effects, along with hundreds of LEDs and floodlights, performing to a musical soundtrack broadcast from a surround sound system,” according to the CVB.


With the sound systems and theatrical lights mounted on eight permanent trusses throughout the plaza, CVB officials said it will save them tens of thousands of dollars in setup costs as the renovated plaza now becomes the convention center’s latest special events “turnkey” venue available, joining the Long Beach Arena and the Cove. Goodling said the plaza can hold up to 5,000 people.

For residents, it will mean a beautiful evening walking experience as the plaza and new Rainbow Bridge light up downtown, according to Goodling, with the fountains also capable of being programmed for special holiday and seasonal performances.


The fountain system has 57 new pumps in the lower and upper basins, with eight pumps having rotating fan nozzles on a rotating axis and three with rotating trillium nozzles, according to the CVB. There are 110 underwater LED fixtures, each attached at the nozzle base or accenting the nozzle sprays from a close proximity.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.