Fox Theatres was a large chain of movie theaters in the United States dating from the 1920s either built by Fox Film Corporation studio owner William Fox, or subsequently merged in 1929 by Fox with the West Coast Theatres chain, to form the Fox West Coast Theatres chain. Fox West Coast went into bankruptcy and was sold to The National Theatres Corporation, lead by Charles Skouras, on November 20, 1933 for $17, 000, 000.00. Eugene V. Klein later became CEO of National, and turned it into the conglomerate National General. Mann Theatres bought National General's theatres in 1973.
Fox theaters surviving today share almost identical histories of decline and fall into disrepair as demographics and movie-going habits changed in the post-World War II years. As many were located in urban centers, there have been subsequent campaigns to save, restore and preserve the architectural extravaganzas for other uses, especially the performing arts. The largest of the Fox Theatres is the Detroit Fox Theatre, which was fully restored in 1988 and is used as a performing arts center.
Other Fox theatres which have been restored and adapted for drama and music include those in Seattle and Saint Louis; also Tucson, Arizona, which reopened in January 2006 after being closed for thirty-two years; Hutchinson, Kansas, reopened in 1999; Oakland, California, reopened in February 2009; and Fullerton, California, where a non-profit community project is restoring the theatre. The Fox theatres in Visalia, California, reopened in 1999, and Atlanta, Georgia were shuttered for some time before restoration began.
The Fox Theatre in Joplin, Missouri, built in 1930, has been adapted for use as the Central Christian Church.
List of Fox Theatres
See the following articles for information about specific theatres.
- Atlanta, Georgia—Opened 1929
- Aurora, Illinois—Opened 1935
- Bakersfield, California—Opened 1930
- Banning, California—Currently open with 3 screens
- Brooklyn, New York—Opened 1928, demolished 1971
- Billings, Montana—Opened November 13, 1931, the last Art Deco theatre in the United States built by 20th Century Fox Corporation; sold to Carsich Theatres in 1978; renovated and reopened as the Alberta Bair Theatre for the Performing Arts in 1987
- Boulder, Colorado—Opened 1926 as the Rialto Theatre
- Centralia, Washington—Opened in 1930. Closed in 1990s. Currently being restored.
- Detroit, Michigan—Largest of the Fox theatres, opened 1928, fully restored 1988
- El Paso, Texas—Opened in 1965, and was the first in Texas. Has since been demolished.
- Fullerton, California—Opened 1925 as the Alician Court Theatre
- Green Bay, Wisconsin—opened February 14, 1930
- Hanford, California—Opened 1929 and is currently used for live concerts, restoration is ongoing
- Hutchinson, Kansas—Opened 1931
- Joplin, Missouri—Opened 1930, now converted to a church
- Las Cruces, New Mexico—Opened 1926, acquired by Fox in 1929, restored in 2005.
- Oakland, California—Opened 1928, restored in 2009
- Paso Robles, California—Opening and closing dates unknown, still standing but abandoned
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—Later part of Stanley Warner and Milgram Theatres chains. Opened 1923. Closed and demolished in 1980.
- Pomona, California—Opened 1931
- Portland, Oregon—Opened 1911; theater demolished April 1997
- Redlands, California—Opened 1928
- Redwood City, California—Opened in 1929, remodeled in the 1950s, listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1993
- Riverside, California—Opened 1929, first theatre to preview Gone with the Wind; restored in 2008-2009, reopened January 2010,
- San Bernardino, California—Opened 1929
- Salina, Kansas—Opened 1932
- Salinas, California
- San Diego, California—Opened 1929
- San Francisco, California—Opened 1929, demolished 1963
- San Jose, California—Opened 1927, closed in 1973, renovated and reopened in 2004
- Santa Barbara, California—Opened 1930
- Seattle, Washington—Opened 1929, renamed Roxy in 1933
- Spokane, Washington—Opened 1931
- Springfield, Missouri—Also originally part of the Electric Theatre chain, and also now serving as a church. Built by M.E. Gillioz, who later built the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield.
- St. Louis, Missouri—Opened 1929
- Stockton, California—Opened 1930, renamed The Bob Hope Theatre
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Opened 1914
- Tucson, Arizona
- Taft, California—Opened 1951
- Visalia, California—Opened 1930, reopened 1999
- Watsonville, California—Closed 2009
- Westwood, Los Angeles, California—Opened 1931
- WEST COAST THEATRES SOLD FOR $17,000,000: Fox Chain in Bankruptcy Goes to National Theatres for Creditors' Claims
- Mann Theatre Will Buy A National General Unit
- Hanford Fox
- Cinema Treasures #1177
- FOX Theatre - Redwood City
- Cinema Treasures #8966