Fairfax Cinemas

7907 Beverly Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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Showing 1 - 25 of 105 comments

CTCrouch on November 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm

About the only movement/change I’ve noted over the past eight years is that they finally secured the theatre a year or so ago. For many years the boarded up entry had a large gap along the top which allowed birds to fly in/out, garbage to be thrown over, and potentially people to climb in. I also used to see some of the rear exit doors propped open from time to time. Fortunately, they closed off the entry gap and I haven’t noticed any open doors in quite some time.

Between the long leaking roof, years of bird/vermin/homeless access, and general neglect, I would hate to even imagine the shape the interior is in. I also seem to recall that they demoed much of the lobby shortly after closing.

CStefanic on November 1, 2018 at 10:25 am

Does anybody know the status of this site? How can we have it registered as a historical landmark?

hondo on August 16, 2017 at 3:40 pm

It is still closed up but intact as of August 15, 2017.

rivest266 on August 7, 2016 at 7:03 am

1930 and 2001 grand opening ads in the photo section.

nixols on April 5, 2016 at 10:44 am

Great vintage 1967 color photo of the Fairfax marquee in the LAWeekly: http://www.laweekly.com/arts/now-were-an-aberration-how-an-old-la-photo-center-survives-in-2016-6791887

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm

When I worked for Cineplex Odeon in 1991-1993, this was the seating for the Fairfax Cinemas:

1: 192
2: 499
3: 222

House 2 was 70mm capable. All houses were able to show films in 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 2.39:1. House 2 could also play 4 track 35mm mag prints.

LAConnection on March 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Surprised that nobody has mentioned one of the most famous screenings ever at the Fairfax. The theater held morning weekend screenings for many years. In May 1990 they screened BLADE RUNNER. What nobody knew at the time of the booking (nor apparently anybody at Warner Brothers OR the Fairfax) was that the print that was sent was of the famous “Workprint Cut” of the film. The resulting hoopla once word got out lead to the first “Director’s Cut” of BLADE RUNNER that was eventually re-released in theaters and on home video. It all started with that “accidental” showing on a Sunday morning at the Fairfax.

CStefanic on June 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

How can we get ahold of the imbeciles who approved an apartment complex in the theaters place? That is beyond ridiculous. The theater could still see some good times. If anybody has this information, please give it to me in a reply, or PM me.

dtrigubetz on January 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I was at the Alex in Glendale last November for their annual Three Stooges festival. In the short where the boys are football players at Gilmore Field you can see the electric sign atop the Fairfax. No one has been able to tell me when the sign came down.

EndlessMeghan on August 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm


A trailer shot overnight at the theater based largely on the employees' ghostly experiences.

MagicLantern on July 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Theatre’s all boarded up now.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 5, 2010 at 8:53 am

According to BOXOFFICE The Fairfax Cinemas being a Cineplex-Odeon theatre announced a two dollar All-the-time admission at this L.A. theatre.It will be for a trial period.It will show “encore” films for a two dollar admission price.Cineplex-Odeon wants to see the response to second run movies.Oct 1994.

TLSLOEWS on May 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Interesting youtube videos jwballer.

nickmatonak on April 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm

On April 1st the Cultural Heritage Commission did vote to consider a landmark nomination for the Theatre.
The next step is that the Commission will make a field trip to the the theater and if they approve the nomination it will then move to the Planning and Land Use subcommittee of the city council and if that sub committee approves it then the nomination will move to the City Council for final approval.
Several people did speak in favor of the nomination, Including the Friends of the Fairfax, The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.
The only speaker who objected was a representative of the owner who wants to develop the property into a mixed-used development with 67 condos and a three story underground parking garage which would destroy the theatre, which has been closed since January due to Rain Damage.
Hillsman Wright, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation urged the commission to expedite this nomination due to the deteriorating condition of the theater.

DonSolosan on March 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm

The LA Times has reported that Regency asked to be let out of their lease, but this isn’t true. The owner refused to make repairs to the structure, and used that as an excuse to force Regency out. Regency has stated that they were happy with the theater’s performance and wanted to stay there. Now if the owner has his way the building will be empty for the two years it takes to work all the environmental impact reports, etc., out, all the while disintegrating from neglect, until the point where if the redevelopment doesn’t occur there will be nothing left to save. That’s being a good neighbor…

In case anyone is wondering, the party went well. Over a hundred people showed up, the Times and ABC 7 covered the event. And there was even a birthday cake…

DonSolosan on March 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm

There will be a party tomorrow from noon to 12:30, Saturday, March 27th, out in front of the theater to show support for preservation efforts and to celebrate the theater’s 80th birthday.

The landmark nomination will be heard on April 1st.

DonSolosan on March 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

As I said before, they call that “demolition by neglect.” Theoretically, the city’s building codes require that you maintain your buildings and don’t let them rot away and become blights in otherwise nice neighborhoods. But wonder of wonders, yet more government employees who either don’t do their jobs or bend the rules to benefit wealthy owners…

By the way, Ken, does the LA Times note that the roof had been leaking for quite a while and refused to fix it? That the Regency employees had jury-rigged tarps to catch water and funnel it to large trash containers? As well as government employees, I think we can add newspaper reporters to the list of people who are taking it easy on the job.

kencmcintyre on March 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

LA Times today says extensive rain damage has forced the theater to close indefinitely. Draw your own conclusions.

DonSolosan on March 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

That’s one of the big motivators for preservation: if they let the building go and then the construction doesn’t happen (empty lot where the National stood in Westwood anyone?), you’re left with a huge eyesore in your neighborhood.

It’s also interesting that the owners say it’s no longer viable as a cinema since they had someone who was renting the space and programming it. As long as they were collecting rent, what do they care? The new owner of the NuWilshire in my neighborhood was hot to turn it into retail and got his way. Now the building stands empty and is starting to collect tags, damage, filth…

jjmaccrimmon on March 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

The Los Angeles Times just ran an article on the Fairfax (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/14/local/la-me-fairfax-theater14-2010jan14). As the Times, like to drop articles here’s the text:

There has never been any shortage of drama at the Fairfax Theatre — not even counting the cinematic conflict that for 80 years has flashed across its screens.

Just months after the 1,800-seat Hollywood movie house opened in 1930, a pair of armed robbers burst into its ornate Art Deco lobby, used adhesive tape to bind and gag employees and made a wild escape with $437 — a fortune in Depression-era receipts.

A half-dozen years later, burglars were so common that the theater’s owners took to leaving a fake safe in their office to fool intruders. One angry thief who spent hours prying open the safe one night in 1937, only to find it empty, took revenge by looting a theater storeroom of 60 lightbulbs, cartons of cigarettes from the lobby snack bar and postage stamps from the office.

Then there was that police raid in 1969 that resulted in the arrest of actors performing a nude scene on the Fairfax stage and led to the shutdown of the Los Angeles debut of “Oh, Calcutta!”

But now the action at the venerable theater at Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue shapes up to be a fight over whether the Fairfax itself lives or dies.

The longtime owner of the building that houses the theater and nine neighboring shops wants to gut the structure and rebuild it as a combination retail and residential complex.

The exterior concrete Art Deco facade of the building would remain. But the theater would be removed, underground parking for 220 cars would be added and 71 high-end condominium units and a swimming pool would be built atop ground-floor retail space.

Even critics of the $30-million redevelopment proposal acknowledge that the planned residential addition, designed by Santa Monica architect Howard Laks, skillfully blends the old and the new.

They argue, however, that steps also need to be taken to preserve the interior theater space.

“It’s one of the last neighborhood theaters in L.A. It has a curtain tower, a full stage, dressing rooms. It’s got everything to become a legitimate live theater as well as a movie house,” said Gaetano Jones, a leader of a campaign to preserve the Fairfax.

Jones, an actor and singer-songwriter who lives nearby, said the Fairfax Theatre began as a single-auditorium venue for film screenings and live shows. Its current three-theater configuration would allow for operation of a movie house, a theatrical rehearsal stage and a full-production live theater stage, he said.

Jones has launched a friends-of-the-Fairfax group. Others groups supporting preservation include the Los Angeles Conservancy, Hollywood Heritage and several neighborhood organizations.

Hollywood Heritage, in fact, has prepared paperwork that would nominate the theater for designation for city cultural-historic landmark status. Brian Curran, director of preservation issues for the group, said it has agreed to delay filing the nomination papers until after a scheduled meeting with representatives of property owner Alex Gorby.

“The Fairfax Theatre is among the earliest Art Deco neighborhood theaters,” Curran said. “The theater’s cultural significance is wider in that it became a fixture that is very much attached to the postwar Jewish community, with use by synagogues and Holocaust films premiering there.”

Representatives of Gorby, a Santa Monica businessman who they say has owned the theater building and the attached shop spaces for four decades, counter that the era of the small neighborhood movie house is over.

In any event, they contend that the Fairfax has been so heavily remodeled and renovated that it no longer represents the original theater designed in 1929 by Vermont Avenue architect W.C. Pennell.

But a full environmental impact report is being prepared and it will detail any cultural and historic significance that is attached to the property, pledged Ira Handelman, a governmental relations consultant who is a spokesman for Gorby.

Because of a lack of parking space and competition from new movie houses, the Fairfax Theatre is no longer viable as a business, Handelman said.

The theater’s current operators and merchants who operate nine storefronts in the building anticipate they have several more years before any redevelopment begins, said Lana Sterina, who for 11 years has owned a pharmacy next to the theater.

Maurice Marzouk, who has operated a 10-foot-square key shop in the building for 15 years, predicted the theater will avoid demolition. “C'mon, it’s not going to happen,” he said.

But a stalemate will just prolong merchants' anxiety, said Mike Monsef, co-owner of a shoe shop that has been in the building for 62 years.

“We don’t want to leave,” Monsef said from his store, where shoes are stacked in boxes on ancient shelving.

“But nobody is going to spend any money to improve or change things as long as we’re here on a month-to-month basis.”

C/O The Los Angeles Times

kencmcintyre on March 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

This is from the Larchmont Chronicle on 12/31/09:

kencmcintyre on March 11, 2010 at 9:25 am

No longer on the Regency website. Rest in peace.

DonSolosan on March 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The owner refuses to fix the roof and Regency can’t afford to do it themselves. A friend involved in theater preservation called it “demolition by neglect.” There are still a lot of people interested in saving this theater, but they need to act. Someone from the Mid City Community Council posted details of a meeting on the Friends Of The Fairfax Theatres Facebook page, and apparently no one showed up. The developers were there, however, and had their way unopposed. It’s still not over though; there will be more meetings before this is a done deal.

kejmoh on March 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

Insomniac Cinema sent out their monthly e-newsletter yesterday with the following:

“After 80 years of service to the fine people of Los Angeles, the Fairfax Cinemas has closed for good. Due to circumstances beyond Regency Theatres control, the Fairfax is now closed, forever :( 80 years ago people knew how great the Fairfax was. I still know. Fairfax Cinema(s) 1929 – 2010.”