Fairfax Cinemas

7907 Beverly Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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The Fairfax

The Fairfax Theatre was opened on March 26, 1930, and was a 1,504 seat single screen with all seats on a single floor. It was designed for movies and vaudeville. By June 1938 it was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres.

It was converted into a 3-screen theatre on December 25, 1981. The two smaller auditoriums were carved from the original auditorium’s rear, leaving the original screen, proscenium and organ grilles intact withing the largest auditorium. It was taken over by Cineplex Odeon on June 6, 1986 and they operated it as a discount house. Laemmle Theatres purchased and reopened it on November 2, 2001 after an interior makeover with new seats and new carpet were added. Extra wide seating was also added which reduced the cinema’s capacity to one screen with 499 seats and two others with 192 and 222 seats.

Laemmle, which has always attempted to preserve the original historic elements of its acquisitions, retained the theatre’s free-standing ticket window. The ticket booth is one of the last in the West Hollywood/Hollywood area. They also retained the Art Deco style stencilled ceiling in the large auditorium.

When Laemmle took over the Fairfax Theatre, the programming was changed to incorporate mostly art house and foreign films.

The Fairfax Theatre was closed by Laemmle Theatres in September 2006. However it was taken over by Regency Theatres and operated as a second run art house. It was closed in late-February 2010, just short of its 80th birthday. In 2013, a City committee approved plans for a 71 apartment complex to be built, preserving the theatre’s facade, marquee and terrazzo floor at the entry, but resulting in the loss of the rest of the theatre.

Contributed by Ray Martinez, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 111 comments)

CStefanic
CStefanic on June 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

How can we get ahold of the imbeciles who approved an apartment complex in the theaters place? That is beyond ridiculous. The theater could still see some good times. If anybody has this information, please give it to me in a reply, or PM me.

LAConnection
LAConnection on March 16, 2015 at 6:06 am

Surprised that nobody has mentioned one of the most famous screenings ever at the Fairfax. The theater held morning weekend screenings for many years. In May 1990 they screened BLADE RUNNER. What nobody knew at the time of the booking (nor apparently anybody at Warner Brothers OR the Fairfax) was that the print that was sent was of the famous “Workprint Cut” of the film. The resulting hoopla once word got out lead to the first “Director’s Cut” of BLADE RUNNER that was eventually re-released in theaters and on home video. It all started with that “accidental” showing on a Sunday morning at the Fairfax.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 17, 2016 at 1:39 am

When I worked for Cineplex Odeon in 1991-1993, this was the seating for the Fairfax Cinemas:

1: 192
2: 499
3: 222

House 2 was 70mm capable. All houses were able to show films in 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 2.39:1. House 2 could also play 4 track 35mm mag prints.

nixols
nixols on April 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Great vintage 1967 color photo of the Fairfax marquee in the LAWeekly: http://www.laweekly.com/arts/now-were-an-aberration-how-an-old-la-photo-center-survives-in-2016-6791887

rivest266
rivest266 on August 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

1930 and 2001 grand opening ads in the photo section.

hondo
hondo on August 16, 2017 at 11:40 pm

It is still closed up but intact as of August 15, 2017.

CStefanic
CStefanic on November 1, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Does anybody know the status of this site? How can we have it registered as a historical landmark?

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on November 3, 2018 at 11:19 pm

About the only movement/change I’ve noted over the past eight years is that they finally secured the theatre a year or so ago. For many years the boarded up entry had a large gap along the top which allowed birds to fly in/out, garbage to be thrown over, and potentially people to climb in. I also used to see some of the rear exit doors propped open from time to time. Fortunately, they closed off the entry gap and I haven’t noticed any open doors in quite some time.

Between the long leaking roof, years of bird/vermin/homeless access, and general neglect, I would hate to even imagine the shape the interior is in. I also seem to recall that they demoed much of the lobby shortly after closing.

rivest266
rivest266 on November 23, 2019 at 11:53 pm

3 screens on Christmas Day, 1981. No ad found.

rivest266
rivest266 on December 1, 2019 at 8:13 pm

June 6th, 1986 grand reopening ad by Cineplex Odeon posted.

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