Fox Oakland Theater

1807 Telegraph Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94612

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Showing 101 - 121 of 121 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 9, 2004 at 10:28 pm

One of the last houses opened by West Coast Theatres before that circuit was purchased by Willaim Fox, the Oakland was one of the first theaters to have the “Fox” name added to its marquee. The change was announced in Exhibitors Herald-World of March 23rd, 1929.

Patsy on December 7, 2004 at 4:49 pm

Gary Flinn: The site is wonderful. Thanks.

bruceanthony on August 5, 2004 at 8:09 pm

Its to bad Oakland can’t find a major patron the way the Fox California in San Jose has.It would be nice if the Port Of Oakland paid for half the restoration like the Silicon Valley has for the California. This is just an observation.Maybe Clear Channel may be interested because the Fox-Oakland is the size theatre they are looking for. Clear Channel helped with the restoration of the Baltimore Hippodrome and Boston’s B F Keith Opera House.brucec

steelbeard1 on June 24, 2004 at 5:24 pm

You can see pix of the restoration of the Fox Oakland’s marquee and vertical sign at

JimRankin on June 24, 2004 at 12:16 pm

The Wagner Electric Sign Co. did a great job repairing the fabulous Marquee and Vertical Sign of the FOX-OAKLAND, and it is a joy to see such fine regard by a city to recreate the night time excitement that such signage brought to our streets in days past. I must note, however, that the slang term ‘blade’ that some are using for the Vertical Sign is not appropriate, and diminishes the stature of such sign artistry and the history of our theatres. It was coined by someone ignorant of the fact that the word ‘vertical’ can be a noun, as well as an adjective. Let us call such vertical signs by their correct industry and architectural term: VERTICALS, as validated by the authorities at the Theatre Historical Soc. of America since 1969.

gsmurph on June 15, 2004 at 1:34 pm

Just wondering—-should this not be referred to as “FOX OAKLAND?”

GaryParks on May 5, 2004 at 3:08 pm

“Amen” to the previous comment about fine versus boring marquees. Often the key factor is of course money. However, there is also the contingent of artsy-smartsy folks who think that if a theatre is going to become a performing arts center that festive things like neon and chaser lights are sinful.
The Fox Oakland’s vertical sign is the last 20s vertical to be found anywhere in the Bay Area. Thank goodness it survived long enough to be restored. At one point in the early 80s, a renovation of the Fox Oakland was planned, and renderings were produced of it which showed removal of the vertical, and generification of the marquee. Fortunately that perticular scheme fell through. The last two verticals that disappeared were the Roxie in Oakland and the El Capitan in San Francisco. The El Capitan had been demolished save for its facade in the mid-60s, but the vertical remained until the mid-90s, when it was removed.

bruceanthony on May 4, 2004 at 8:04 pm

The Fox-Oakland had its last exclusive 1st Run With “Rosemary’s Baby” in 1968. After this it showed Porno for awhile and 2nd run at 50cents in the early 1970s. The theatre was used for a short time for concerts and the the Dickens Fair.The Fox-Oakland Auditorium is larger than the Paramount but the Paramount has the larger lobby. Both theatres have fantastic vertical blade marquee’s which are among the best in the nation. Many times theatres are renovated /restored and not much thought is given to restoring the great marquees of the 20’s,30’s,40’s and 50’s. The Wang in Boston has one of the most boring marquees today but when it was the Metropolitan is had a fantastic marquee.The Fox in Detroit has a wonderful marquee but the Fox in St Louis has a boring marquee. The fun starts on the sidewalk at some of our historic theatres. The biggest dissapointment is the loss of the great marquees in Times Square along with the theatres. I applaud the City of Chicago in putting verticals on the new Goodman, Oriental, and Palace. I hope when the Shubert is restored back to the Majestic that a beautiful marquee is restored to this theatre.brucec

gsmurph on May 4, 2004 at 2:51 pm

It should be noted that, though the Fox Oakland is often said to have been closed since the 1962 (or 1965 as noted above), its most recent run as a movie palace was about 1972 (saw “Villa Rides” there; all seats were 75 cents, if I recall correctly). It was subsequently a concert venue in 1973-74 (I remember a radio ad on the old KDIA for a Funkadelic concert there), and hosted the Dickens Christmas Fair in 1983 and 1984.

bruceanthony on May 3, 2004 at 4:28 pm

There was a major Fox-Oakland renovation benefit on May 1 which I found about on May 2 hosted by Mayor Jerry Brown. Hope it was a success. Plans are to place a Charter School in the building surrounding the theatre as this is a pet project of the Mayor.I saw a construction banner in front of the Fox for the first time on May 2. I hope after all these years (30) that some sort of renovation is started on the interior of the building.brucec

gsmurph on April 25, 2004 at 11:42 am

Weeks and Day were also the architects for the Fox Oakland proper; though the 1930’s remodel of the marquee and entrance was by Alexander Aimwell Cantin.

stevenj on February 3, 2004 at 9:44 pm

In the late 1970’s a friend of mine and I snuck inside the empty Fox. The open side front door down near the stage provided the only light inside the cavernous auditorium. All the seats had been removed but the two big gold Buddahs that flank the stage were still standing guard and it looked like homeless people were using the stage to camp on. And now with the marquee restored it looks like the Fox will be coming back to life.

Gregg on February 3, 2004 at 5:47 pm

The restoration of the marquee by Wagner Sign Co. can be seen at:

Gregg on February 3, 2004 at 5:43 pm

The very nice Friends of the Fox Oakland Theatre web site can be found at:

bruceanthony on November 14, 2003 at 1:11 am

Just a suggestion. Both Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks went to High School in Oakland. Maybe they could get involved in the restoration of the Fox. Maybe they could hold a benefit premiere at the Paramount of one of there upcoming films to benefit the Fox and also gain a lot of publicity for the Fox. Brucec

unknown on November 3, 2003 at 9:03 pm

I formerley lived in Oakland now reside in Concord. I was driving in oakland last week visiting mom and noticed the Fox theater just wondering what has become of it. It would be wonderful to have it alive again.

Thanks for making this site avalibale

bruceanthony on October 31, 2003 at 2:57 pm

The Fox was my favorite theatre I saw movies in during the 1960’s. I took a tour of the theatre when Mrs Duluchi purchased it at an auction. The theatre did not cease operation in 1965. The last major exclusive run film to play the Fox was “Rosemary’s Baby” in 1968. The Fox then played soft porn with “I Am Curious Yellow” which had a very long run. This theatre deserves a complete restoration and would compliment the Paramount. I don’t think its necessary at this time to equip the theatre to be a broadway house do to San Francisco.I do think the theatre should be equipped for film, stage and concerts. The “Fox” and the “Paramount” are the largest film palaces still standing in the State of California.I believe the auditoriums may be the largest west of the Mississippi. Its amazing that both of these theatres are located in Oakland along with the “Grand Lake”. The City has three major assets in which to boast and use as a marketing tool. San Francisco tore down both the “Fox” and “Paramount” in the 1960’s. brucec

DuaneCrumb on December 4, 2001 at 12:51 pm

I just returned from the exciting official lighting ceremony at the Fox Oakland. Last Thursday evening (11/29) Mayor Jerry Brown threw the switch that turned on the lights on this glorious blade and marquee. It has been meticulously restored by the craftsmen at Wagner Electric Sign Company in Elyria, OH. Several hundred cheered and gasped in amazement as the lights started to flash.

MichaelVanScyoc on October 19, 2001 at 8:27 pm

Can the stories of the marquee restoration be true??? I haven’t been by the building in months but if this is actually an indication of serious renovation efforts I applaud them..

DuaneCrumb on September 25, 2001 at 9:24 am

The restored blade sign on the Fox Oakland was re-installed last week.

The restored marquee arrived from Wagner Electric Sign in Ohio on Monday, 9/24 and should be installed by the 28th.

Official lighting ceremony for the gloriously restored sign is scheduled for late October or early November.

Check with the City of Oakland for the ceremony date.

frenchjr25 on September 6, 2001 at 11:42 am

The story of this wonderful theater can be found at and there are some amazing photos as well.