On a Spring day in 1989 there was a great deal of excitement at the Senior Center. Auditions were underway for the Summer Season of the Moonlight and there were many hopeful actors of all ages waiting for their turn to be seen by the directors and choreographers.

Enter Randall Hickman and Doug Davis. They had just arrived in the area from Southern Utah where they had recently graduated from Southern Utah College, and they were intending to enroll in the Masters Program at San Diego State.

They had seen a notice in the paper and they walked into the middle of the open auditions. Randy and Doug started the Arts Between the Tracks program. As the years rolled around the youth program they had run for the Vista Recreation Program became Premier for Kids youth arts program, which provided arts training for local students through summer and after school.

This program eventually added the Premiere Productions program for adults also. Eventually in 2004 the pair opened the Broadway Theatre in downtown Vista. They also have a youth company in San Marcos, Broadway Theatre West.

Recently they have added dinner theatre at the Wildwood Restaurant in town.

Reprinted from the February 17, 2024 Vista Press
By Tom Robertson 

Broadway Vista Theater and Arts Center owners Randall Hickman and Douglas Davis begin their 20th year of on-stage productions in their theatre located on Broadway St. in Downtown Historic Vista. They have been residents of San Diego for thirty-five years, performing, producing and managing theatres around the county. It was in 2004 that they decided it was time to “settle down” and open a theater of their own. Their friend Clay, owner of Quality Lock and Safe, suggested they take over the space connected to his business and the rest is history. Doing most of the work themselves, Randall and Doug converted the building into a small 60-seat theatre complete with ticket office, lobby, stage, and backstage area. Their theater has won three Channel 10 A-List Best Theater in San Diego Awards.

Both Doug and Randall have been nominated and won numerous theatrical awards and their experience on the Moonlight Stage helped them draw a number of patrons to their Broadway Vista Theater productions once they opened. In the twenty years they have brought productions to Downtown Vista, they said they have seen many changes in the Downtown area, especially with the addition of the large parking lot across from the theater and the continued addition of different restaurants in the Downtown area. They started a Premiere for Kids program in 1992 with classes for kids to learn a variety of performance techniques. In a recent interview they were both asked what their most memorable production was, and they both said it was “The Odd Couple”. This reviewer has enjoyed numerous productions, especially “On Golden Pond” and many of the comedies they have brought to their stage. When asked what owning a small theater means to them, Randall said.

Attending a production at Broadway Vista is more than just seeing the play or musical on stage. Arrive early and you are treated to cookies, tea, coffee or water in the lobby. The walls are covered in numerous paintings, posters and other things to look at, as is the inside of the theater. Other than the productions, another memorable part of attending a show there is the opportunity to take part in the famous Opportunity Drawing, held at the intermission and hosted by Doug Davis. Tickets for this event are sold prior to the opening of the play for that evening, for the chance to win whatever “crap” Doug or Randall has collected. By the way, “crap” is from Doug. I personally have been the recipient of some of these treasured items. My only regret is I missed out on the famous Oscar Meyer hot dog holder that was offered one time. When you attend a play do not hesitate to make a donation and get your tickets for the chance to win items you didn’t even know you needed.

As owners of the Broadway Vista, Randall had the following to say, “Being able to provide live theater to our patrons means everything to us. We still have quite a few patrons who have been with us since that first season in 2004. We love seeing their faces come through our doors because they have become so much more than patrons – they have become our theater family. This goes for the actors as well. We have a core group of actors that have worked with us for years and years. They call the Broadway Theater their “home away from home”.”