Alex Theatre

216 N. Brand Boulevard,
Glendale, CA 91203

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Showing 26 - 46 of 46 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 9, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Here is an October 1938 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/38de44

Senorsock
Senorsock on June 17, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Took one of the official tours of the theater today and it was a good two hours of information and well worth seeing. The theater is in great shape. They have made some changes to the original auditorium: in order to expand rest rooms and provide handicapped access, they changed the rake of the main floor and in the process lost several hundred seats. Ditto for the balcony which also has been reconfigured so the total seating is about 600-700 less than the Alex’s original capacity.
The guide also told us that the Alex was supposed to be home to the pipe organ saved from San Francisco’s famous Fox theater. They had purchased the organ and had planned to put it in when they discovered it was too large for the space they had available and so they subsequently sold it to Disney where it now plays at the El Cap.
The Alex is just about the only survivor of what used to be theater row in Glendale. As late as the 1980’s they used to have “dollar Tuesdays” at all the theaters: Roxy, Glendale, Capitol, Alex, etc. At least they saved the best one.

Hibi
Hibi on October 5, 2005 at 5:35 am

Talk about Phallic symbols. LOL!

teecee
teecee on June 9, 2005 at 8:32 am

To St. Louis, MO:

You can buy a print at this link
you’ll need to scroll back to the home page for ordering information.

View link

Patsy
Patsy on May 4, 2005 at 4:24 pm

This theatre has certainly made national news with it being mentioned on the ABC Primetime show, Fallen Idol! The style is listed as ‘unknown’, but it appears to have an atmospheric interior.

DavidT
DavidT on April 30, 2005 at 5:56 pm

1937 view of the Alex (then Alexander) stage. LAPL collection.
http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater1/00014445.jpg

br91975
br91975 on December 14, 2004 at 3:13 pm

The exterior of the Alex is highly visible in a new commercial for the Nissan Murano.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2004 at 4:26 am

According to the magazine “Southwest Builder and Contractor” of 5/9/1924, the construction cost of the Alexander theater was $216,000. That was a considerable sum for a suburban theater in those days, even if that figure included furnishings and equipment.

A later issue of SB&C, on 9/3/1948, tells that there had been a fire at the Alex Theatre, causing an estimated $150,000 loss.

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 12:12 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 Rococo.’ 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 shows 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)

debby
debby on May 14, 2004 at 10:09 am

I would like to purchase a poster or print of the Alex Theater. Would anyone know where I could buy this picture?

William
William on January 9, 2004 at 10:17 am

The original architects of the Alexander Theatre in 1924-25 were Arthur G. Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk.

Knatcal
Knatcal on November 8, 2003 at 7:02 pm

Not long after the Alex Theater was remodeled I saw a live performance of the musical “Sayonara” here. The musical was not very good but the venue was nice. I have attended screenings by the Alex Film Society which are very nice. Sadly I never made it here when it was first run movie house.

brianalexderek
brianalexderek on April 1, 2002 at 6:21 pm

Check out the Alex Film Society at the Alex. We love to do shows just like your mother saw as a kid in the Alex. A cartoon, short or newsreel and a pristine print of a classic feature film. www.AlexFilmSociety.org

RichardJensen
RichardJensen on July 17, 2001 at 4:54 pm

As a teenager in Glendale in 1937-38 I watched the Alexander Theater newspaper ads for the words: “Tonight: Major Studio Feature Preview”, which signaled that a studio would screen a new picture to gauge the public’s reaction. Usually, the studio sent cars to pick up cast members of the picture along with producers, etc. Postcard-size questionnaires were handed to customers after the screening, asking for written comments on the film. I obtained many autographs on those evenings—some stars, some contract players who became stars. Sometimes the stars (Alice Faye and her then husband Tony Martin) would sneak out a side door, but we tried to be waiting for them. They usually were good natured about signing for us. One night a studio guest was the great silent screen star Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., with his wife Lady Sylvia Ashley who later married Clark Gable. Mr. Fairbanks and his wife both graciously signed our books. I recall only a few who refused to sign autographs—Darryl F. Zanuck, Don Ameche, Brian Donlevy and Man Mountain Dean, a famous wrestler of the day.

TomDavis
TomDavis on June 17, 2001 at 10:15 am

The Alex was one of my childhood movie haunts. For some time in the late 1940’s we lived in North Hollywood, so Glendale was fairly convenient.

I particularly remember the forecourt, which indeed was like that of the Egyptian, my mother’s favorite.

Almost always, in conjunction with our moviegoing, we ate at a chicken pie restaurant across the street and a couple of blocks down from the Alex.

William
William on June 6, 2001 at 1:54 am

This theatre opened as the Alexander theatre in 1925. The Alex seated at the time 2030 people. Fox West Coast theatres ran this theatre for many years, in it’s District 2 area. Mann Theatres was the last chain to run it. The only other theatre left in Glendale. Is about 2-3 blocks north of the Alex. It’s known as the Star now. But it was called the Roxy theatre. If you go into the Star, it’s like going into the Mann’s Bruin from Westwood Ca. before Mann messed up the inside. The side wall lights are there. The lobby is different from but the inside the same.

Sara
Sara on February 26, 2001 at 11:54 am

I just went to a live theater performance here and they’ve done a great job of restoring it. There’s also an interesting display in the lobby. Did you know this was the smallest theater on the Orpheum Circuit?

JoeWasson
JoeWasson on December 14, 2000 at 10:51 am

The website for the Alex can be found at:http://theatre.glendale.ca.us/alex/index.html