Fox Theatre

6508 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 51 - 75 of 162 comments

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm

As this was a successful movie theatre from its 1918 opening, I think it likely that the Hollywood Lutherian Church could have used the original Idyl Hour/Iris Theatre on the other side of the Boulevard, which could have been sitting empty since closing in 1918, until its demolition in around 1927 when the Warner Theatre was built.

Pine on April 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm

   Hollywood Lutheran Church was founded May 29, 1921, when a group of 24 people, who had been meeting for worship and prayer in a private home in Los Feliz, opened a “Charter” of those wishing to start a new Lutheran congregation. Quickly outgrowing a house living room, they began holding services in the Iris Theater in Hollywood, and found their first pastor, Rev. Milton H. Stine (formerly the President of the California Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America).

Within less than a year, the new congregation purchased a lot on Sunset Blvd. near Van Ness, surrounded by Warner Bros. Studios. 
  But when Warner Bros. began to expand its Hollywood presence, a deal was made.  Hollywood Luthean Church sold its lot to Warner Bros. and purchased a permanent site in Los Feliz. Warner Bros. made a generous donation to help with the cost of construction and furnishings.  The congregation built its present home in 1924 at a cost of $70,000! The Sanctuary was dedicated November 9 that year and has been in continuous use ever since.
A Sunday School building was completed in 1937, and enlarged in the 1940s.   A two-story educational and office wing was added in 1968.

Our property once held a small (equity-waiver) wooden theatre building originally owned by actress Mae West, but she never performed in it. It fell into disrepair, was later condemned by the City of Los Angeles, and demolished before the new wing was added.
Hollywood Lutheran Church has been served by nine different senior Pastors in its eighty-six year history, as well as 4 assistant pastors, 11 seminary interns, and several parish visitors.
  Pastors who have served Hollywood Lutheran Church

1921â€"1926 Pastor Milton H. Stine
1927â€"1942 Pastor J. George Dorn
1931-1932 Assistant Pastor Erwin May
1932-1934 Assistant Pastor J. Ernest Messer
1943â€"1949 Pastor Robert D. Kerstetter

1945 Assistant Pastor Albert Alsop
1948 Assistant Pastor George H. Lovecamp  
Pastors Stine, Dorn and Kerstetter
  1949â€"1952 Pastor R. Bertram Reed
1953â€"1960 Pastor John T. Steinhaus
1960â€"1991 Pastor Harry D. Durkee

1961-1963 Associate Pastor Fred Daubenbis
1987-1988 Assistant Pastor Ken Edwins  
Pastors Reed, Steinhaus and Durkee
  1991â€"1995 Pastor John Wagner
1995â€"2000 Pastor James E. Boline
2000â€"2004 Interim Pastor Paul W. Kloth
2004â€" Pastor Daniel M. Hooper  
                           Pastors Boline and Hooper

 A Son of the Congregation:  Eddie Spirer, “the Little Minister” was a son of this congregation.  Of Orthodox Jewish descent, Eddie became a Christian, then a carpenter and contractor, and later went on to seminary and became a pastor of the Lutheran church (one of five men from this congregation who became pastors). A memorial book was written about his life.

Rev. Spirer was ordained at Hollywood Lutheran Church on July 13, 1930.

A tireless evangelist, Pastor Spirer (1895-1990) helped to found nearly 50 Lutheran churches in Southern California and Hawaii during his long career.

During the Depression and World War II, the congregation continued to grow until it was the largest church in the Synod.  The Sunday School had 400 young people enrolled.  Over 155 men from the congregation served in World War II; only one was injured, and he recovered and returned to Hollywood Lutheran Church!
Hollywood Lutheran Child Development Center was opened in 1974, and operated until February 2004. Its original mission was to provide quality child care and education for the staff at Hollywood-area hospitals. But later, these hospitals added their own internal facilities, making our center unnecessary and unprofitable, to the point of thousands of dollars in losses for the church.

 Hollywood Lutheran Church in 1976

Pastor Harry Durkee:  The one pastor whom many people remember well is Pastor Harry Durkee, who served from 1960 to1991 until his retirement from professional ministry. Our fellowship hall, Durkee Hall, is dedicated to honor Pastor Harry and Norma Durkee. (See:  Facilities.)

In 2005-2006 Durkee Hall was refurbished. The Durkees now live in Burbank, California.
HLC has also hosted several 12-Step programs — Alcoholics Anonymous meetings — for many decades. Hollywood Squares, the oldest and largest meeting in Hollywood has gathered in Durkee Hall for about 50 years. See: Community Schedule.
The buildings have been modernized several times, but retain their historic charm, especially in the Sanctuary, where worship services, weddings, baptisms, concerts and dramas, funerals and community programs have been held continuously for more than 86 years.
Recent History
In 1999 the congregation adopted an “Affirmation of Welcome” to gay and lesbian people, and so became part of the reconciling and welcoming movement of Christian churches that are working for the full participation of sexual minorities in the church. Through the Reconciling in Christ Program of Lutherans Concerned/North America, nearly 400 congregations of the ELCA and ELCIC have adopted similar public statements of welcome. See: What does “Reconciling in Christ” mean in this church?

The church was served by Interim Pastor Paul Kloth from 2000 to 2004. During this period, with the guidance of the Synod staff, the congregation determined that its chief mission priority in the years ahead would be to develop a ministry with GLBT people. In March 2004, the congregational called the Rev. Daniel M. Hooper as Pastor to lead in this effort.
During 2005 we re-formed a Hand Bell Choir. If you can’t sing, you can ring!  With the arrival of the very talented and dedicated Eldon Turner as our Director of Music in May 2006, Hollywood Lutheran Church observed its 85th Anniversary.  Our music program continues to flourish, with plans for the rennovation and expansion of our pipe organ in 2008.  (See:  Music Program)
In October 2006 we also we welcomed the Silverlake Children’s Theatre Group to our campus, and the Way of Life Church (Korean language) as our sister community that Christmas. More recently, we have launched several significant community enterprises, including Hollywood Remembers, Hollywood Callback and the Los Feliz Art Walk program.
Our community has a proud history of diversity, openness and innovation, a tradition which continues today.
We are indebted to our faithful archivist, Joan Riedell, who has carefully kept congregational records for many years. Her handiwork includes wonderful chronological binders of key documents and photographs for each decade of this church’s life in Hollywood.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Joe: I have added the Idyl Hour Theatre and first Iris Theatre, and they now have their own seperate pages.

Pine on February 25, 2009 at 11:15 am

Thanks for all the info!!! I started working here summer of 1969. I didn’t know that it was renamed Fox, Dec 20, 1968. I recall National General, cause I received my paycheck from them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Nobody has yet created Cinema Treasures pages for the Fox Theatre’s two predecessors (mentioned in Ken Roe’s comment of January 2, 2005, above), the 1911 Idyl Hour Theatre at 6265 Hollywood Boulevard, and the 1913 Iris Theatre at 6415 Hollywood Boulevard. Does somebody want to do that, or should I post them? Ken?

Incidentally, the 1915 Los Angeles City Directory lists the Iris Theatre at 6417 Hollywood Boulevard. I believe that lot was absorbed into the parcel on which the Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre was built. Unless there was some shifting of addresses over the years, the original Iris might have been demolished then.

Also, though the Idyl Hour Theatre appears to have been the first movie house built on Hollywood Boulevard, it might not have been the first in the Hollywood district. The building in which the Ivy Theatre was operating in 1915, and which is now the location of the Chaplin Stage of the El Centro Theatre, was erected in 1910. So far I don’t know if this building was built as a theater, or if it was converted into a theater within a few years of its construction, but if it was built as a theater then the Idyl Hour was not Hollywood’s first movie house.

kencmcintyre on January 24, 2009 at 11:43 am

Here is another LA Times excerpt dated 11/24/68:

National General Corp. has closed the Iris Theater om Hollywood for a $250,000 renovation project. The theater will be renamed the Fox and will reopen on December 20 with an exclusive run of “The Killing of Sister George”. The remodeling is part of an expansion program launched by Eugene V. Klein, president of the Los Angeles-based company.

The 650-seat house will be given a deluxe appearance, including a new facade, expanded lobby, marble walls, carpeting and comfortable bodiform chairs.

kencmcintyre on December 22, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 2/11/55:

Fox West Coast Theaters yesterday announced the gala opening of its newly remodeled Iris Theater in Hollywood for next Tuesday night after refurbishing at a cost of $100,000.

The first-run show house will feature a wide “miracle mirror” screen adapted for conventional, Cinemascope, 3D or VistaVision films, Edwin F. Zabel, Fox West Coast manager reported.

Additions under the redecoration program include a new facade on the front of the building, marquee, seats, carpeting, lighting system, box office and poster display cases finished in stainless steel. William F. Katzky, Jr., 35, with 16 years experience in show business has been named manager of the theater.

socal09 on November 21, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Signage has just gone up on the boards indicating the opening of the nightclub/event venue Playhouse. The interior renderings look good (click on link, then click on Playhouse) Another space for the young and wealthy to party the nights away. None of the original theatre remains except for the facade and marquee. The facade has still not been renovated. Hopefully they will keep the kooky design intact and leave the marquee.


kencmcintyre on October 12, 2008 at 12:40 am

Here is a 1953 photo from the USC archive:

Twistr54 on October 6, 2008 at 11:27 am

So sad, the graffiti must go. Has any work happened to this theatre yet?

MICHAELM6 on June 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Work has finally started on the theater. I went by today and noticed the rear doors were open. Other than some faded and chipped panels on the walls, the auditorium has been cleared out. They were in the process of knocking out the projection booth. I have to admit I felt a twinge of sadness seeing it like this.

By the way. The much discussed 1955 remodel didn’t happen until 1959. That’s when the theater lost most of its character, the Iris name and the great old marquee. It reopened in August of 1960 with “The Time Machine”.

Twistr54 on May 31, 2008 at 6:38 pm

I think it was the Rodney King riots.

Pine on May 31, 2008 at 11:48 am

Re: 1992
What happened in 92? I see smoke and the fire dept. The people look different too, than when I was there in the 60’s. I remember well dressed office and retail store types.

meheuck on April 2, 2008 at 1:18 am

The plans have changed. The property will not be a Crobar-branded venue like the ones in Chicago and Miami, but will still be a multi-purpose live performance venue. This article provides links to other related ones.

View link

It’s expected to open in the fall.

kencmcintyre on April 1, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I guess if you pulled down the fake facade, as seen in the last photo, you would get a look at the original front. Maybe in the future.

Roloff on September 10, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Thanks guys. Feel free to comment on them in Flickr as well (you need to subscrobe though).

chelleck on September 10, 2007 at 9:30 am

Roloff, you do have great photos. Thank you very much. I hate to see the old “Fox” structure go down.

Pine on September 9, 2007 at 6:48 am

Roloff, thanks for your great photos. I would also like to find a photo of Hollywood Blvd 1969-72 of Hollywood College of beauty on Hollywood Blvd.No longer there. It was next door to Love’s pit barbecue restaurant.

Roloff on August 1, 2007 at 3:08 pm

View link
for a postcard of the Iris and Warner, and a better look at my picture that’s featured at the top of this page here:
View link

vcarville on July 6, 2007 at 12:47 am

It wasn’t anything special, mom dropped me off here to watch The Little Mermaid, I think she left me because she said the movie was making her sick, also saw Troop Beverly Hills here…nothing to write home about, really a dump in the late 80s. Nothing lost if it’s torn down, it was a cracker box even at the time…