Fox Theatre

837 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205

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Showing 26 - 36 of 36 comments

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on September 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm

I worked for Tom Moyer (Luxury Theaters)in the early 1980’s and was visiting the home office in Portland and had an opportunity to visit the Fox. The theater was in great shape very well kept and the auditorium was beautiful. His other theaters especially the ones outside of Oregon were not very nice But this one was amazing. It was like stepping back into the 1940’s / 50’s. Nothing much had been done from the last remodel, the colors and interior styling were just as Fox West Coast had put in. Such a shame!

strawberry
strawberry on July 27, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Lost Memory, take a look at the 4th photo down on the page at
http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/broadway.html
It looks like perhaps in between the space being the Heilig and the Fox, it was the Hippodrome for a while…? Although in the photo at
View link
it shows the Heilig sign up and an over-the-street sign for the Hippodrome down the street at the same time—maybe the theatre went by two names? Or partitioned into two separate stages or something?…
Please add a new comment if you find out the answer as I’m curious as well.

shiftlive
shiftlive on February 14, 2007 at 8:17 pm

It broke my heart when THEY demolished this, Portland, Oregon’s greatest, theatre. A theatre which I had dreamed of one day owning.

strawberry
strawberry on April 7, 2006 at 12:06 am

There’s a great 1954 photo of the ticket booth and surrounding area at http://www.ohs.org/exhibitions/movies/gimmicks.htm

William
William on March 29, 2006 at 12:29 pm

That photo ken mc posted on Jan 9th 2006, would date around July/August of 1954 just before the new Fox reopened to the public. The theatre reopened on August 12th. 1954.

William
William on March 29, 2006 at 12:25 pm

On August 12th. 1954 the new Fox Theatre in Portland reopened after a $230,000 remodel. Which tranformed the theatre into a Skouras style theatre for the Fox West Coast Theatre chain. In this remodel a new 61' x 30' CinemaScope screen and Full 4-Track Magnetic Stereo sound was installed. The theatre had a 122 foot projection throw from the booth to the screen. When this theatre was known as the Fox Mayfair Theatre it seated 1500 people.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Undated photo from the Oregon Historical Society:
View link

teecee
teecee on February 17, 2005 at 9:50 am

Old photos & postcard at this link, which shows the transformation over the years:

View link

Note that the original theatre name was Helig.

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 25, 2004 at 5:50 am

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also show in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE:
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
www.HistoricTheatres.org
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 44 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to lend it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

billyted
billyted on December 20, 2003 at 1:18 am

Unfortunetly, The Fox had been altered over time that
renovation was almost impossible. Downtown Portland
property is very valuable and the entire block
was cleared for the fox towers. There had
been another theatre there as well called the
music box. Tom Moyer had bought the fox, the broadway
and I think the music box, I don’t know the man so I can't
attest to his intent, but we all have a price. Portland
has lost most of it’s cinema jewels.

DavidStear
DavidStear on May 31, 2002 at 11:00 pm

I recall seeing this theater in 1991. I was taking the train across the country and down the Pacific coast to San Diego. In Portland there was a longer than usual stop. I had just happened to have met someone from Los Angeles who belonged to a group which was devoted to saving old Fox theaters. Since this theater was a short walk from the train station he suggested taking a look at it since by that time it was slated for demolition. I thought it was a beautiful building. I could not, cannot and will not understand anyone who, with casual deliberateness, would allow tangible history to slip through their fingers. And in a supposedly forward thinking and progressive city like Portland.