Fox Theatre

837 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

paulnelson
paulnelson on February 22, 2014 at 9:33 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.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

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

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on May 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Now that is a great looking marquee.

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm

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

William
William on November 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 4, 2010 at 7:35 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.

erikljohnson
erikljohnson on April 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I’m searching for some information about a Vaudeville show that may have performed at the theatre in the late 1920’s somewhere between 1927-1929. The show was called “Jungleland” which was a traveling contortionist show. If anyone could help out, that would be great.

chspringer
chspringer on August 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm

For the postings above concerning the name Hippodrome, this was never a name for the Fox. The theater opened as the Heilig, renamed the Rialto in 1929 when Paramount/Pubix took control, then a couple years later under still new management it was renamed the Mayfair. Finally it became the Fox. A block north, the theater best known as the Orpheum used the Hippodrome name for a short time around 1916.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on July 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I must disagree. Newspapers are the first draft of history. Whilst not all the stories are acurate, neither are the fading memories of someone who worked there 30 or 40 years ago.
I would also say that the price of admish in a given time frame is VERY much part of the history of the theatre.
Instead of wanting people to censor what they post, I say post it. Only by publishing it can we decide how important it might or might not be.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 10:55 pm

This was in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin on May 21, 1952:

PORTLAND, (AP) â€" Fire from a waste basket in a janitor’s supply room halted the movie at the Mayfair theater Tuesday night. When the door to the room was opened the fire blazed up and although firemen appeared quickly and put out the blaze, smoke filled the theater and the program was not resumed. Firemen estimated damage at $750.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on November 4, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Salt Lake City’s (still open) CAPITOL THEATRE once had a huge sign across the street.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on September 23, 2007 at 7:06 am

I love that idea of the theatre name strewn right across the street from building to building- ive never seen that before.

strawberry
strawberry on September 23, 2007 at 6:05 am

Lost Memory, looking at a theater map from Cecil Matson’s book “The Way It Was” (a scan of which I posted on Flickr at View link) it looks like the “Empress/Hippodrome” was on the northwest corner of Seventh (Broadway) and Yamhill. So yeah, the Hippodrome wasn’t related to the Heilig, or even in the same spaceâ€"but in fact, one block north.

cself
cself on September 18, 2007 at 1:48 pm

I worked at the Fox Theatre during my teen years and my friends worked at the Music Box Theatre next door and the Orpheum down the street. What wonderful memories we share of those years “on Broadway”. The Fox was a beautiful Theatre and I was saddened to hear it was demolished. When I worked there in the 60’s, it was owned by National General Corporation who owned a number of West Coast Theatres. They sold out to Tom Moyer sometime in the 70’s as I recall. I appreciate the links to the old photos on this site so I may add them to my scrapbook pages. I have visited the new Fox Towers cinemas and couldn’t help but feel an emptiness in my heart for the history forever gone.

ron1screen
ron1screen on September 2, 2007 at 8:28 pm

I worked for Tom Moyer (Luxury Theaters)in the early 1980’s and was visiting the home office in Portland and had an opportunity to visit the Fox. The theater was in great shape very well kept and the auditorium was beautiful. His other theaters especially the ones outside of Oregon were not very nice But this one was amazing. It was like stepping back into the 1940’s / 50’s. Nothing much had been done from the last remodel, the colors and interior styling were just as Fox West Coast had put in. Such a shame!

strawberry
strawberry on July 28, 2007 at 1:24 am

Lost Memory, take a look at the 4th photo down on the page at
http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/broadway.html
It looks like perhaps in between the space being the Heilig and the Fox, it was the Hippodrome for a while…? Although in the photo at
View link
it shows the Heilig sign up and an over-the-street sign for the Hippodrome down the street at the same time—maybe the theatre went by two names? Or partitioned into two separate stages or something?…
Please add a new comment if you find out the answer as I’m curious as well.

shiftlive
shiftlive on February 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm

It broke my heart when THEY demolished this, Portland, Oregon’s greatest, theatre. A theatre which I had dreamed of one day owning.

strawberry
strawberry on April 7, 2006 at 3:06 am

There’s a great 1954 photo of the ticket booth and surrounding area at http://www.ohs.org/exhibitions/movies/gimmicks.htm

William
William on March 29, 2006 at 3:29 pm

That photo ken mc posted on Jan 9th 2006, would date around July/August of 1954 just before the new Fox reopened to the public. The theatre reopened on August 12th. 1954.

William
William on March 29, 2006 at 3:25 pm

On August 12th. 1954 the new Fox Theatre in Portland reopened after a $230,000 remodel. Which tranformed the theatre into a Skouras style theatre for the Fox West Coast Theatre chain. In this remodel a new 61' x 30' CinemaScope screen and Full 4-Track Magnetic Stereo sound was installed. The theatre had a 122 foot projection throw from the booth to the screen. When this theatre was known as the Fox Mayfair Theatre it seated 1500 people.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2006 at 7:53 pm

Undated photo from the Oregon Historical Society:
View link

teecee
teecee on February 17, 2005 at 12:50 pm

Old photos & postcard at this link, which shows the transformation over the years:

View link

Note that the original theatre name was Helig.