Fox Theatre

837 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205

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Fox Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1910 as the Heilig Theatre, designed by architect Edwin W. Houghton. This gorgeous Art Deco style movie palace had a freestanding ticket booth. Like so many others, it has been demolished.

Contributed by Louise-Annette Burgess

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

Information about this theater is given in the Historic Note section near the top of this web page, which contains the finding aid for the Heilig Theatre Photographs Collection, held at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library in Portland (none of the photos are on display at this page, unfortunately.)

The Historic Note says that this Heilig Theatre, the second of the name in Portland, opened on October 10, 1910. It was designed by architect Edwin W. Houghton. The Heilig operated primarily as a stage and vaudeville house until 1929, when it reopened as a movie house called the Hippodrome. During the 1930s it underwent three more name changes, operating as the Rialto, the Music Box, and finally the Mayfair. The house was purchased by Evergreen Theatres in 1953 and, after being extensively remodeled, reopened as the Fox Theatre in August, 1954.

As can be seen in the fourth photo on this page (this is the same link posted above by strawberry in a comment of July, 2007), the name Hippodrome was on the street-spanning sign in front of what is unmistakably the Heilig Theatre building, and the house also had a vertical sign proclaiming it the Hip.

A June, 1912, Architectural Record article about Portland architecture features this photo of the Heilig Theatre. The caption also identifies the original architect of the Heilig as E. W. Houghton. I’ve been unable to discover who designed the theater’s 1954 remodeling into the Fox.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

From 1963 a photo postcard view of the Fox Theatre along with the Paramount in Portland.

William on November 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Looks like “Robin and the 7 Hoods” is coming soon on the Fox’s marquee.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

And I thought I was getting pretty good at reading these fuzzy marquees. Good call William!

JohnMessick on May 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Now that is a great looking marquee.

rivest266 on August 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

September 27th, 1929 reopening ad as Rialto and August 12th, 1954 Fox opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

paulnelson on February 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I remember riding down the street across from these glorious old theatres in the 50’s and the Fox marquee outdid them all. Art deco and colorful. Only the Paramount still exists but was renamed. It is similar to Seattle’s Paramount. That theatre still exists too and has been restored. Home to lavish stage productions with a larger stage.

kabuking on March 24, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Corporatism killed it and now there’s a hideous and soul-dead sky scraper there.

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Fox. With a reserved-seat run of 116 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?) It was one of ten runs in the United States and at least 24 globally that ran the movie continuously into a third year.

nansiw on July 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

I just acquired a Cash Box/Ticket dispenser marked Nelson & Son Mayfair Theatre Bldg. Portland, Oregon w/ Patent #. Trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve been researching for any Portland theatre historical societies with not much luck….

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