Fox Theater, Westwood Village

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Fox Village Theater
Highsmithwestwoodvillagetheater.jpg
Fox Village Theater with iconic tower
Location 945 Broxton Avenue, Westwood, Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°03′46″N 118°26′51″W / 34.062684°N 118.447407°W / 34.062684; -118.447407Coordinates: 34°03′46″N 118°26′51″W / 34.062684°N 118.447407°W / 34.062684; -118.447407
Built 1931
Architect Percy Parke Lewis
Governing body Private
Designated June 21, 1988[1]
Reference No. 362
Fox Theater, Westwood Village is located in Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Fox Theater, Westwood Village
Location of Fox Village Theater in Los Angeles

The Fox Theater, Westwood Village, also known as the Fox Village Theater, is a historic, landmark cinema in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, in the Westwood Village. It is currently operated by Regency Theaters under the name Regency Village Theater. The theater has been one of the leading film premiere theaters in the history of cinema.

History[edit]

Designed by architect Percy Parke Lewis[2] the Fox opened on August 14, 1931[2] part of a widespread cinema construction program undertaken by Fox West Coast Theatres. The Fox Theater quickly became the most recognizable symbol of the new Westwood Village, a Mediterranean-style village development adjoining the University of California Los Angeles planned by Harold and Edwin Janss of the Janss Investment Company.

The Fox was destined to become famous for the many Hollywood movie premieres held there and still to this day is one of the main venues for movie premieres in Los Angeles.

Architectural features[edit]

The most striking feature of the Fox Theater is the iconic 170-foot[3] white Spanish Revival/Moderne[4] tower which looms over the Broxton and Weyburn Avenues intersection. Atop the tower is a blue and white metal Art Deco “Fox” sign, which was renovated in the late 1980s.

Halfway up the tower there are carved winged lions which sit at the base of projecting columns. At the bottom of the tower just above the entrance is a blue and white sign with the legend "Fox Westwood Village". By night the elegant white tower literally becomes a beacon with its signs and the shaft of the tower illuminated.

The rectangular cinema building immediately behind the tower features long rows of Churrigueresque stucco decorations. Perched atop the corners of the building stand carved griffins.

Interior[edit]

Seating capacity in the cinema is for approximately 1,400 people. The interior of the theater was remodeled during the period of the late 1940s to early 1950s. The lobby and exits were upgraded and California Gold Rush artwork was added in the lobby.[5] Golden flourishes were added near the stage areas. National General Theatres, the former Fox Theatres-West Coast, sold the theater to Ted Mann, then owner of the Chinese Theatre, and became part of the Mann Theatres chain.

In the late 1970s new 70mm projection equipment was installed and a larger screen added. The Fox Westwood Village has a reputation for top quality sound and projection. The most recent re-modeling was about 1998-1999 with the theater getting new seating and carpet.[5]

In 1988 the Fox Theater was designated by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission as an Historic Cultural Monument (HCM #362).[1] When Mann Theatres went out of business, Regency Theatres purchased both the Village Theater and a multiplex cinema at "The Plant" in Van Nuys, California in 2010.

With on-going efforts to re-vitalize Westwood Village, the Fox Theater continues to be a major drawcard and asset for the area.

Movie premieres[edit]

The Fox Village Theatre is typically thought of as one of if not the best movie premiere venue in the world. For 60 years some of the biggest films in cinema have premiered at the theatre including: A Star Is Born, James Bond[disambiguation needed], JFK, Mission: Impossible, Batman, each Harry Potter film, Independence Day, The Terminator, The Lego Movie and hundreds of others. Typically the streets get shut down and are used for red carpet arrivals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Department of City Planning. "Designated Historic-Cultural Monuments". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  2. ^ a b "ArchitectDB - Fox Westwood Village Theatre". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  3. ^ "Village Theatre reopens tonight in Westwood". Los Angeles Times. 1951-10-18. 
  4. ^ An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles - David Gebhard, Robert Winter (Gibbs Smith) 2003
  5. ^ a b "Cinema Treasures - Mann Village Theater". Retrieved 2008-09-03.