Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts

815 E. Olive Avenue,
Fresno, CA 93728

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Tower Theatre

The Tower Theatre opened with a premier showing of Nelson Eddy in “Balalaika” for a private party of local dignitaries, Fox West Coast Theatre executives, and guests on December 14, 1939. Co-hosts for the event were developer and owner A. Emory Wishon (1882-1948) of San Francisco, a prominent California hydroelectric executive, and Charles P. Skouras of Los Angeles, president of Fox West Coast Theaters.

The theatre opened its doors to the film-viewing public on December 15, 1939. The double feature program included “Dancing Coed” and “Henry Goes Arizona”.

A complete restoration of the exterior facade, ongoing tenant improvements in the retail wings, and modifications to allow the adaptive reuse of the theatre auditorium for the performing arts have brought new life to the theatre and to the surrounding Tower District. The area has since become a lively collection of restaurants, pubs, jazz clubs, and antique shops, with the highly successful Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts at its center.

In 1991, the dramatic theatre rehabilitation was honored with a California Preservation Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Restoration, and with an Award of Honor from the San Joaquin Chapter, American Institute of Architects.

Contributed by Paul Salley

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 29, 2007 at 7:51 pm

If you have an extra 4.2 million lying around, it’s yours:
http://tinyurl.com/298b3k

drb
drb on May 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

The tower, especially the sparkle-y ball on top, looks a great deal like another S. Charles Lee marquee, the Alex Theatre in Glendale, which was added to that theater a year after this one was built.
/theaters/8/

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Very nice looks great all lit up a night.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Very nice looks great all lit up a night.

William
William on May 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm

-DB, Don’t forget the Academy Theatre in Inglewood, CA also has a neon sparkle ball too.

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on November 22, 2018 at 1:36 pm

do they still show films here. such a classics like the fox theater in visalia. just curious.

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on November 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm

went here to see a miss nelson is missing play s a class field trip in second grade. then after that whenever we would drive by it at night i would marvel at the neon most importantly it’s neon sparkle ball!

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