Fox California Theater

241 Main Street,
Salinas, CA 93901

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Showing 26 - 29 of 29 comments

tomdelay on September 23, 2004 at 11:29 pm

Sadly, preservation efforts have failed on the Salinas Fox. The organ is being removed and the property is for sale. The owners have been more than willing to string the theatre along to try and save the place. At ever opportunity, the City tried to place restrictions on the theatre’s use. The City has bordered on abusive until a local attorney set the City “right”. Regarless, other investors want to be rid of the structure.

The City of Silliness seems to be unable to save any historic structures. The City of Silliness needs to have a strong slap in their collective faces for NOT stepping forward to preserve this theatre. The city is continually financially strapped, but they have plenty of money to over-pay the gobs of do-nothings in City Hall. Now the city is threatening to close the libraries in this cow town. How could one expect such an overpaid city staff to ever preserve a structure such as the Fox?

As I have said for years about this town I live in, “If it does not involve a horse, cow, or head of lettuce, no one pays any attention”.
I would love for this place to prove me wrong!

William on November 12, 2003 at 7:24 pm

The Fox California is located at 239 Main Street.

ChuckParker on October 29, 2002 at 9:31 am

My family and I recently attended Monster Bash 2, a Halloween benefit held at the Fox on October 26th. The Fox had been closed up for quite a while, so we were curious to see the theater.

The carpeting looks brand new and seems to be in excellent shape. The lobby and stairwells are also in fine condition.

It was sad to note the condition of the seats, though. Many of them had mold and mildew. We had to hunt down seats without mold on them. It was also very cold inside the theater. Don’t know if that was due to the Fox just being rented for the night, or if there isn’t any heat available, period. Looks as though the seats will wind up having to either be replaced or reupholstered… :–(

It was nice to see inside the theater again, though. Overall, everyone seemed to have a pretty good time at the event. It was very kid-friendly, and the people overseeing the event were very nice.

tomdelay on September 27, 2002 at 5:46 pm

Inasmuch as I am the crew leader on this organ installation, a few comments are in order.

The Fox (California) (T & D) opened in November 1921. The original architect was A.W. Cornelius who also did the design of the California Theatre in Pitsburg, CA and the California Theatre in Richmond, CA. Though different, all three theatres had very similar Grecian facades.

The Salinas facade still exists, but was covered over in a remodel of the theatre in 1948. Newspaper photos clearly show the columns arched windows and statues being covered over by the “new” chevron design.

The auditorium was remodeled along the Skouras line at the same time.

A previous remodel of the theatre saw the original interior gutted and replaced with an art deco theme. That plaster work still exists beneath the walls on either side of the stage and are visible from behind in the areas where the original organ (2 manual 14 rank Gschoeff “Chef”) was installed.

The present organ is installed on the stage and is from the San Francisco El Capitan Theatre of 1928. The 3 manual 11 rank organ was installed by volunteers from Nor Cal Theatre Organ Society:

At present(fall 2002), the theatre’s future is very clouded.

It is hoped the City of Salinas or responsible non-profit will take on the project of purchase and restoration.