Fox Phoenix Theatre

11 S. First Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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Showing 26 - 50 of 50 comments

Patsy on August 13, 2007 at 7:38 am

compass drive ins: Lucky you!

compassdriveins on August 12, 2007 at 11:20 pm

I have one of the original art deco ceiling light fixtures from the back of the auditorium of the Phoenix Fox. It’s a spectacular piece.

Patsy on January 22, 2007 at 8:34 am

“The Theater cost a $360,000 to build, including furnishings and equipment. The estimated cost to build today would be $100 million.” Perhaps someone should have read this quote before demolition began in 1975.

Patsy on January 22, 2007 at 8:32 am

I hesitate to ask, but does anyone have photos of the demolition phase?

Patsy on January 21, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Having told friends who were recently in Phoenix about the Orpheum I have now refreshed my theatre memory to the fact that Phoenix also HAD the Fox, but chose to bring it down in 1975 to make room for a bus terminal!?! Shame.

William on October 31, 2006 at 9:36 am

I have a post card that shows the same shot as being the Fox Phoenix.

Here is another shot from UCLA.

View link

OnslowKUA on October 31, 2006 at 8:40 am

I am not completely certain of this since I have never seen a photo of the Fox Phoenix, but the photo above looks to me to be one of the Fox Tucson. Can anyone either confirm this or confirm that the photo is of the Fox Phoenix?

William on October 31, 2006 at 8:19 am

The theatre was part of Fox West Coast Theatres / National General Theatres during the mid 70’s National General sold the theatre operations to Mann Theatres. During the early operations Mann Theatres (pardon the word), weeded out under performing theatres and theatres that leases where up or where the property was sold to developers. During this time alot of other Fox Theatres were let go or razed. The list goes on and on.

Patsy on October 31, 2006 at 7:34 am

IanArizona: I was going to email you, but that information is not provided on your CT profile page. I just your Sept. 11/02 post and found it interesting what you wrote…“We have a good number of Art Deco office buildings just sitting and rotting. Can we stop this destructive tide?” This is a shame as art deco of that era is my favorite and should be saved by the City of Phoenix. The Mayor of Phoenix and the Mayor of Tucson should be comparing architectural notes!

Patsy on October 31, 2006 at 6:50 am

The b/w photos posted on 1/9/05 are absolutely breathtaking so why in the world would the City of Phoenix make the decision to destroy this beautiful art deco 1800 seat cinema? Such a shame!

Patsy on October 31, 2006 at 6:46 am

Such a shame that this Fox was demolished and yet the Fox in Tucson is being renovated!

kencmcintyre on September 29, 2006 at 3:04 pm

This page and the next have photos from the UCLA collection:

Celluloidkid on March 20, 2006 at 5:57 pm

…Phoenix Az hates to save it’s past unlike Denver Colorado…

William on March 15, 2006 at 8:37 am

In Bob Wasserman’s post from Oct. 19th 2004.

“I saw my first Cinerama film there, Beneath the 12 mile Reef about 1953.”

It should have said CinemaScope. As to Phoenix would not get Cinerama theatre till much later.

tomdelay on March 15, 2006 at 7:57 am

Information above is partly wrong. Don Story of Tucson pointed out that the organ in the Phoenix Fox was bought by the late Bill Brown and it eventually broke up for parts. Opus 473 did go to the Phoenix Fox.

However, the similar 2/9 Wurlitzer style 210 that was original to the Phoenix Rialto Theatre is the organ that is now being restored in Phoenix College where it has been installed for a few decades.

tomdelay on February 23, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Wurlitzer opus 473 was moved from the Theatre Visalia when that theatre closed circa 1930. The organ was rebuilt and enlarged by Fox West Coast organ man, Louis A. Maas and installed in the Phoenix Fox. Maas kept the organ relatively intact and added an English Post Horn. Wel before the theatre was demolished, parts of this of organ were installed in a Phoenix area college. Every once in a while there is a flurry of activity to restore the organ, but, as far as I know, the organ is not in very good condition.

Patsy on February 23, 2006 at 3:59 pm

I’ve looked at most of the Lee theatres and this one is my favorite.

Patsy on February 23, 2006 at 2:53 pm

I’m now studying theatres connected with architect S. Charles Lee as his name has come to my attention due to the upcoming Oscars and the set design for this year’s show. This theatre was so beautiful and to read that it has been demolished does NOT make my day! And I’ve never read the words “ground to dust” in a demo description, but that is unfortunately so true.

RobbKCity on December 28, 2004 at 5:10 am

As a sidenote, I used to love to drive down Van Buren east of 7th Street at night and look at all the cool old neon lights that belonged to the forelorn-looking motels that lined that strip. I don’t know if they are still there or not, since I haven’t been to Phoenix in more than 10 years. However, someone should have saved, or should try to save, those neon lights and erect them in a neon sculpture park somewhere in Phoenix. I know eventually all those motels will be demolished and they will be lost otherwise.

RobbKCity on December 28, 2004 at 5:06 am

When I lived in Phoenix and worked downtown, one of the saddest things was how few old buildings there were. When one thinks about the vast and low density blocks that make up Phoenix, it seems ridiculous that this theater couldn’t be saved, and whatever was built on its site constucted elsewhere. Scottsdale and Tempe have better downtowns that Phoenix.

acmeron on November 1, 2004 at 5:39 pm

The Fox Theater in Phoenix was located where the old Phoenix city hall was. The loss of the city hall was sad, the loss of the Fox was 100 times worse for it was the only Art Deco theater in Phoenix. It fronted on Washington street; the southeast corner of Washington and 1st Streets.

BobWasserman on October 19, 2004 at 3:36 pm

My very first trip to the movies with my Aunt Rose may have been 1943 at the Fox Theater. My sister and I saw “Bambi”. I remember growing up as a kid and attending the Lew King Saturday Rangers Show at 9AM. We’d see a cartoon, coming attractions, news-reels, serials and full length kid features like “Lassie” etc. etc.
I saw my first Cinerama film there, “Beneath the 12 mile Reef” about 1953. Before relocating to another city as an adult, the last film I saw there was just after I was discharged from the Army in 1963. I believe the film was “Goldfinger”. Other theatres we remember, The Orpheum, Studio, Rialto, Strand, Vista, Cinema Park and Indian Drive In Movies.

Thanks to all for making this piece of nostalgia possible. Bob Wasserman, 10-19-04.

Donstory on May 23, 2004 at 1:23 pm

I used to go to the Fox in mid-60s when I was a student at ASU. Even then it was a impressive place and I was very sad when it was destroyed. I was active in rebuilding the pipe organ at the Orpheum (then Paramount) and played it for intermission and preshow music. I am really glad certain people came to their senses in Phoenix and save and restored the Orpheum. I can’t recall the address of the Fox but if you go to a related site called “cinematours” it and a lot of other AZ theatres are there. I’ll be eagerly checking the site listed by “bryanb” above for photos and other info. I would be very interested in talking to anyone who has info/photos of other old AZ theatres in Winslow, Douglas, Yuma, and Globe. Thanks, D. Story at

TOMGREER on January 26, 2003 at 9:16 pm

When I was a child living in Safford, one of the greatest treats imaginable was to visit relatives in Phoenix and take in a movie at the Fox! What a pity that it was demolished; all those memories of a fantastic artistic “cathedral” in which to pass a few hours! Does anyone have access to photos of the gorgeous interior of the Fox? Tom Greer

IanArizona on September 11, 2002 at 12:10 pm

Recently, I just became obsessed by the story of the Fox in Phoenix…. the place stood for 34 years and could have, should have been saved. The first wave of historic preservation was happening in 1975, so why didn’t anyone care? I’ll tell you why: No one in Phoenix really gives a damn. The Orpheum has been spared(thank God) and magnificently restored, but the Ramona, The Rialto, Cine Capri, (the last 70mm screen in town) and the Kachina in Scottsdale (Cinerama and very cool and kitschy) are all long gone and no one seems to mind at all. The Nile Theatre in Mesa is in use, but it is a sad, mutilated shell of its former glory…..All this boils down to is the fact that if a developer has enough cash, anything as grand as the Phoenix Fox can be knocked down and replaced by something incredibly bland…..I fear for other buildings around Phoenix besides theatres, too. We have a good number of Art Deco office buildings just sitting and rotting. Can we stop this destructive tide? Write me if you wanna talk about this. Also, the Fox had one screen and sat 1800 people. AND there is a great book about the architect, Mr. Charles S.Lee called The Show Starts On The Sidewalk, available at the Phoenix Public Library. Lee built HUNDREDS of theatres, he had an amazing life. Thanks for reading this!