The Fonda Theatre
Music Box Theatre, 2007
|Address||6126 Hollywood Boulevard
|Current use||Music venue|
|Opened||October 18, 1926|
|Architect||Morgan, Walls & Clements|
The Fonda Theatre (formerly Music Box Theatre, Guild Theatre, Fox Theatre, and Pix Theatre) is a concert venue located on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style, the 31,000-square-foot (2,900 m2) theater has hosted live events, films, and radio broadcasts.
On October 18, 1926, the Carter DeHaven Music Box opened with a revue called Fancy. Among the first investors in the new theater were John Barrymore, John Gilbert, Reginald Denny, King Vidor, and Mae Murray.
The Music Box switched from revues to legitimate theater in 1927 with the west coast première of Chicago, starring Clark Gable and Nancy Carroll. Stage plays continued at the Music Box for nearly two decades—aside from a period beginning in 1936 when the site was used as a broadcasting studio by Lux Radio Theater.
In 1945, Fox West Coast purchased the building and remodeled it for film exhibition in a Streamline Moderne decor, which included covering the Spanish Colonial Revival façade with sheet metal. Opening in February 1945, the theater showed movies for 32 years; first as the Guild Theatre, then as the Fox Theatre, and finally as the Pix Theatre, before closing its doors in 1977.
The Nederlander Organization reopened the house as a legitimate theater in 1985 and renamed it in honor of film and stage actor Henry Fonda. In ensuing years, productions such as the Pulitzer Prize winning play Glengarry Glen Ross, and Driving Miss Daisy graced the stage.
Efforts to restore the theater to its Roaring Twenties glory began in 2002, culminating in the original name being placed back on the marquee. In 2012, Goldenvoice took over the Music Box and changed the name back to The Fonda Theatre. The venue was recently named the top venue in Los Angeles by LA Weekly.
- "On Golden Fonda" (fee required). Los Angeles Magazine. HighBeam Research. June 1, 2003.
- "Hollywood Pix Theater to Become Fonda Playhouse". Los Angeles Times. January 6, 1985.
- Martinez, Julio (October 27, 2011). "Inside LA Stage History". LA Stage Times. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- Michelson, Alan. "Carter DeHaven Music Box Theatre". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- Nudelman, Robert (Fall 2004). "Return of the Music Box Theater". Hollywood Heritage. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- Haithcoat, Rebecca (February 15, 2012). "Goldenvoice Reportedly Taking Over Music Box". LA Weekly.