Fonda Theatre

6126 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Unfavorite 19 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 75 of 87 comments

Coate
Coate on April 14, 2007 at 1:27 am

To clarify the questions above regarding “Windjammer” I can confirm that it indeed ran at this theatre (when it was called the Fox) for 15 weeks beginning Christmas Day, 1958.

For a full list of Los Angeles' Cinerama history, see:
http://www.fromscripttodvd.com/cinerama_la.htm

Bway
Bway on February 18, 2007 at 9:37 am

Here’s an aerial view of the theater:

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 7, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Well not a forecourt, but the Music Box Theatre did have (still does have) an open air foyer/bar above the main entrance. The back of the bar is actually the upper section of the facade and is a small covered area, but the remainder of the area is open.

raybradley
raybradley on January 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm

These posted links are a welcome site, because I always thought it looked as if this house originally had a forecourt like the Egyptian and Chinese. Vintage photographs prove that it did not.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 7, 2007 at 1:10 pm

I am re-posting the link which johngleeson posted above on May 26, 2006. Scroll down towards the bottom for 3 photographs of the Henry Fonda Theatre:
View link

joedeeee
joedeeee on January 7, 2007 at 12:09 pm

I just finished watching 12 Angry Men on TCM and remembered the play of the same name opening this theater as the Henry Fonda back in 1985. I was lucky enough to attend the dedication night show which featured among other performers, Gene Kelly dancing with Debbie Reynolds, and Jimmy Stewart giving his reflections. Does anyone else have recollections of this evening as my memory tells me that there were many other notables there. It was a fabulous evening.

johngleeson
johngleeson on May 26, 2006 at 10:21 pm

This site has one exterior and two interior photos of the theater.
members.tripod.com/ ~movie_pal/fonda.html

haineshisway
haineshisway on February 12, 2006 at 9:54 pm

If you want to see the incredible neon marquee of the Pix, just rent or buy the DVD of The First Nudie Musical – there’s a really long tracking shot during a musical number where you see it for a very long time (The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud is playing. In the same number there’s also a great shot of the Hollywood.

William
William on March 4, 2005 at 2:39 pm

When they opened Cinerama in NYC at the Broadway Theatre. They installed a new special curved screen which was wider than the proscenium. And when the reissue 70MM of “This is Cinerama” played the Fox Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills. They installed a special screen for that engagement. When National Theatres were testing the new process. They used their Melrose Theatre (880 seats) for testing and demonstrations. So the New Fox Theatre is about the same size. The problem is for Cinemiracle presentations the booth had to be setup for head-on projection as in what Cinerama did. The Cinemiracle screen was made of conventional seamless material and was substanially less curved than that of Cinerama, being about 120 degrees instead of 146. Its most likely that on the move-over they used the Chinese Theatre’s print and track.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on February 13, 2005 at 2:01 pm

i meant to say late December 58 or early Jan 59. probably in Dec.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on February 13, 2005 at 1:47 pm

yes, the day after it left the Chinese, it moved over to the New Fox. Can get the dates for you if want. But it was probably in January'59 (or very late ‘57). Your questions are my questions. From what I learned, “WJ” ran until the Christmas booking of “Auntie Mame.” Without going thru all my notes, it ran at the NF for at least 2 or 3 months. Didnt do well. Any comments, pls?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 13, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Did the ‘Cinemiracle’ “Windjammer” ever play the New Fox (Music Box)? I thought it just played an exclusive 36 week run at Graumann’s Chinese Theater. Would the 900 seat New Fox be large enough, or even have a proscenium opening wide enough for the Cinemiracle screen?

veyoung52
veyoung52 on February 13, 2005 at 1:23 pm

can anybody inform us how the presentation of “Windjammer” in 1958 in its moveover after the run at the Henry Fonda (then called the New Fox) was done? True 3-panel? Curved screen? curtains? 7 channel or 1-channel mixdown.

Bway
Bway on February 13, 2005 at 12:07 pm

The theater looked to be in half way decent shape when I went by last week, although I don’t think it looked anything like the photo above anymore. There where advertisements on the marquee for future events in February in old “movie title” letters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2005 at 7:23 pm

Actually, that opening was February 1st, 1945. ((Can’t read my own scribbling.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2005 at 7:08 pm

The Los Angeles Times records the date on which this theater re-opened as the Guild as February 2nd, 1945.

trooperboots
trooperboots on January 8, 2005 at 1:03 am

I found a marvelous photo of a pre-1938 Music Box Theater when it was the home of the Lux Radio Broadcasts prior to moving to the CBS Radio Playhouse on Vine Street (now the Ricardo Montalban Theater)…..

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 1, 2005 at 7:50 am

This opened as the 980 seat capacity Carter DeHaven Music Box Theatre on 20th October 1926. It was designed by noted theatre architects Octavious Morgan, J.A. Walls and Stiles O. Clements in a Spanish Colonial style.

Initially it was used for staging elaborate musical revues in which artists such as Fanny Brice starred in productions designed to rival the ‘Zeigfeld Follies’. After the show, theatregoers could mingle with the stars and dance and watch cabaret shows in an open-air room located above the theatre’s main entrance. This room was also a well known ‘speakeasy’ serving alcohol during the prohibition era. Within a year the theatre had become a drama playhouse and productions included Clark Gable starring in “Chicago” and Bella Lugosi starring in “Dracula” following on from his first big screen success in that role.

In 1936 it became a radio studio theatre and artists such as Mae West, Al Jolson, Joan Crawford, James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper and Jean Harlow all graced the stage, broadcasting dramas as ‘The Lux Radio Theatre’. This possibly only lasted until 1938 as CBS had then taken over the former Vine St Theatre (now the Ricardo Montalban Theatre) and broadcasts of ‘The Lux Radio Theatre continued from there. The Music Box Theatre was most likely 'dark’ until it returned to legitimate stage use briefly in the early 1940’s when, again known as the Music Box Theatre, a production of “Life With Father” had an extensive run in 1942. Again, the theatre possibly had another ‘dark’ period.

It became a full time movie theatre known as the Guild Theater from February 1945 when Fox West Coast Theatres took control and it was re-modelled in the foyer areas to an Art Deco Moderne design, which included a stylish pavement mounted pay-box. Cladding was put on the facade of the theatre hiding the original Spanish style decorations and the auditorium was given the ‘Skouras’ style treatment that many Fox West Coast Theatres were given at this time. It later became the Fox Theatre, showing first run movies.

A later change of management in the mid-1950’s altered the name to Pix Theater (the Fox name was transfered to the former Iris Theatre further West on Hollywood Blvd) and a spectacular neon display was mounted on the new marquee and vertical sign. Many ‘Sneak Previews’ were held at the Pix and in 1975 the premier of “Jaws” was held here, followed in 1976 by the premier of “Rocky”. But this was a last gasp as it briefly went over to screening Spanish language movies and closed as a full time move theatre in 1977, after which it lay empty and un-used for many years.

In March 1985 it re-opened as the Henry Fonda Theatre, a legitimate theatre with a production of “Twelve Angry Men” and it came under the management of Nederlander Theatres. Many Broadway productions have played here in recent years including “Driving Miss Daisy”, Glengary Glen Ross", “Lend Me A Tenor” and “Nunsense”. It has also been used for concerts by Marianne Faithful, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Davies and Adam Ant, among many others to numerous to name.

The current seating capacity is 863 and in June 2002 it was getting started on an on-going restoration which has now brought many of the original architectural features back into sight. The former open-air cabaret room has been restored back into use again and serves as a reception area. The theatre now thrives on a mixed diet of concerts, live performances and special events. The current lessee’s hope to eventually remove the cladding on the front of the theatre and reveal and restore the original Spanish style facade.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on November 25, 2004 at 5:07 pm

Is this the New Fox that housed a moveover engagement of “Windjammer” in CineMiracle beginning in late 1958 after that 3-panel film left the Chinese?

JakeM
JakeM on October 7, 2004 at 8:32 am

I saw a rock show (The Hives) here in august of 2004 and was really impressed. Very nice, well managed and beautiful. They have a rooftop lounge with a bar, and the balcony still has the seats. I will definately go back and I urge anyone who wants to see a rock show in a great converted movie house to check out the Music Box.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 1:56 pm

What was the address of the X Theatre?

William
William on September 22, 2004 at 1:54 pm

I think just did. The X Theatre was located just east of the old World Theatre (aka: Marcal). It was a storefront twin theatre, not a old theatre that turned into porn operation.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 1:40 pm

Will someone please settle the “which theatre was the X Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard” debate once and for all?

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on September 22, 2004 at 1:38 pm

The X theater was a twin theater known as the X 1 & 2. It was operated by Carlos Tobalina, who started his career doing softcore fare before going into hardcore XXX in the 1970’s. Tobalina also ran the “luxurious Mayan” theater during its days as an adult theater. Shots of the X(ticket booth and poster cases) can be seen in the 1981 “documentary” called Exhausted. (This was the film that inspired PT Anderson’s 1997 film Boogie Nights.)

I think the X may have been a “storefront” theater instead of an old theater that converted into an “adults only” or porno format. (For those who are familiar with the history of porn theaters, many in the Pussycat and Mitchell Brothers chains were old theaters who converted into a porn format.)

RobertR
RobertR on September 22, 2004 at 12:44 pm

When the photo post is working again I have a great picture I took of The Pix marquee. Someone should also post a listing for The X who knows more about that theatre.