Fox Theatre

1350 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 154 comments

BahamaPaul1 on September 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

My mother recently passed away at age 98 and when I cleaned out the attic of her garage I discovered 12 authentic theater seats from the original Fox Theater in San Francisco. These are evidently collectors items my dad bought in the early 60’S when they tore down the old movie palace. This row of theater seats is now 85 years old and still has the original undamaged steel structure, red corduroy backs, and hardwood arm rests. They need to be restored and reupholstered after all the years of heavy use at the FOX but they could be quite a conversation piece in a home theater for someone.

Does anyone have any idea what these 12 seats could be worth to a movie buff?

Bobodude on June 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

As a boy of 7, my parents would take me to visit my uncle in San Francisco. His name was J. D. Griggs. I would ride with my dad in the car when he would drop him off at work in the afternoon right in front of the Fox. He was one of the full time projectionist at the Fox! I can remember him telling us of the grandure of the theater. He loved his work. He also worked at most of the other big movie houses in the “city”. I can also remember his comment when running Disney’s Old Yeller of all the patrons in the audience crying the hearts out. I wish I had been a little older to be able to appreciate the importance of this great landmark. In my later years I was able to obtain the 3 volume set of Fantasy Records LP’s, “Farewell to the Fox” with Tiny James and Everett Nourse at the console which I still have today. The sound of this mighty Wurlitzer is amazing and still raises a few hairs on my head.

amnesia on July 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm

rferjo/ Rob – It’s fabulous you’ve come to this website, especially as there is such interest in re-printing the Preston Kaughman book. It;s been a while since your comment back on Feb – is there any progress in interest in re-printing it from your original plates? I’d leap at the chance to buy a new copy without spending $500.

Joel_V on June 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

sorry, my above comment I meant to address to rferjo.

Joel_V on June 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

@hdtv267, have you approached publishers, Chronicle Books for example, about reissuing Mr. Kaufmann’s book again since it’s out-of-print? Or perhaps SPUR organization in SF about an exhibition?

rferjo on February 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Need some advise, I worked with Preston Kaughman back in the late 70’s. I was the pressman and owner of the printing company that ran I believe 3 runs of “THE FOX” Book. I do have 2 copies of it along with all the printing plates and negative. After Preston past on he left everything to me. All the pictures and artwork are sitting in boxes. If someone is interested, make me an offer I can send pictures or make arrangements to see everything. (Rob)

Petite on December 19, 2012 at 3:26 am

Missed the newsreels and “Leagues under the Sea” movie… It was great & wanted more, but it all disappeared so fast! I was only ten in 1963. Thanks for bringing a tiny piece of time back.

Jimmyg on September 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

Saw the Raven @ the Fox in early 63. And was inside after wrecking ball punched a hole in wall with daylight. And my Parents were divorced in summer of 63. So early Feb 63 sounds right

Market on September 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I saw 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea at the Fox in October of 1963. Problem. The theater was supposedly torn down in February of that year. Thought I was crazy, went back and looked up the movie listings in the Chronicle on microfilm. It’s there, lots of other movies showing at the Fox all the way through Dead Ringers and Dr. Crippen in February of 1964…

Is the date of demolition 1963 a mistake that has been copied over and over again?

Or, was there another Fox Theater at Ninth and Market??????

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on July 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

My greatest posessions are my “Fox, the last word” so well written by the late Preston J. Koffman -what a tallented and careing kid he was. I’ll never tire of reading it… and a Cherub which was positioned over the center front inner lobby doors. Damn those greedy fools for destroying such a magnificent treasure.

sam siklas
sam siklas on November 26, 2011 at 4:59 am

This theater’s Wurlitzer “Crawford” (or Fox) special is based on the one which was installed in the N.Y. Paramount. That instrument proved so popular that Fox ordered one for the S.F., St. Louis, and Detroit theaters. The one from this theater survives intact at Disney’s El Capitan theater, in Hollywood, Ca. It is played frequently, and receives very good care. ==== Remember the S.F Fox! ====

sam siklas
sam siklas on November 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

I have seen Bill Swain’s photos online- nice work. They really give you a feel for the grand palace that was, and sadly, was lost. The S.F. Fox is my favorite of all the big movie palaces. It’s loss is on a par with that of the St.Louis Ambassador in the mid 90’s. It’s nice that the Fox’s Wurlitzer is alive and well under the loving care of Disney in southern California. If Donald Trump wanted something to pattern a new casino or hotel lobby from, this theater would be fantastic!

jeffhershel on October 1, 2011 at 10:16 am


Celeste on August 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This was my favorite Movie Theater in the whole World!!! It was like a Palace! It was soooo beautiful!!! It had 24K Gold Plated Faucets and Italian Marble floors in the Ladies Room!
I was there the day that the wrecking ball struck. I cried so hard and cried all the way home.My Dad was so cool! He got me some souvenirs and the Book “The Fabulous And Foolish Fox”. That book is worth a fortune now.

William on September 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I think it was “NOW” or “NOW in” CinemaScope on the sign.

RobertR on September 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I love that incredible CINEMASCOPE sign from 1963. Is there another word in neon on the same sign also that maybe it flashed from one to the other?

TLSLOEWS on September 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Excellent photo posted by Bill Swain.Very Nice.

lisap on September 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

My husband who is an avid collector and dealer,recently came across 3 sets of seats from The Fabulous Fox Theatre. They were well maintained by a collector who recently passed away. They will be placed in The Antique Society in Sebastopol,Ca. for anyone wanting to take a peek at a piece of history or to perhaps purchase them for their own collection. As someone who grew up in San Francisco it was a tragedy when the Fox was demolished. Still painful after all these years! Thanks for all the great postings and photos on this site!


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm

“Display CinemaScope 55 Changeover Equipment"
Small photo in Boxoffice magazine, April 7, 1956:
View link

jeremybondsf on June 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

Thanks to all of you. I stumbled across this site this morning and have been enlightened, delighted, and even moved to tears by your heartfelt reminiscences. This grand lady was born, lived, and died before I was even a gleam in my daddy’s eye, but I somehow feel connected to this beautiful theatre and those of you who rekindle and celebrate its memory.

Swain on March 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm


I took persons that seemed to be appropriate from other photos that I didn’t use. I placed them in places where they might enhance the picture. PhotoShop was used to do this and to color them.

I am still working on a couple more photos that will be published later this year.

Bill Swain

Ziggy on February 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Mr. Swain,

I noticed that, in a couple of the photos, there are people posing in the colorized versions that aren’t there in the black and white photos. How did you do that?

tplassman on February 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Mr. Swain
Your pictures are truly amazing. Incredible work!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on February 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

Mr. Swain…
If you have been unable to find any customers for the Fox artifacts, you might consider donating them to JOSEPH MUSIL’s non-profit AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THEATRICAL DESIGN in Santa Ana. 714-667-6959 207 N. Broadway, in the 1925 Santora Arts Building.

I donated some SF Fox items to Joe of which we created a lovely window display with my Cherub (from above the original candy counter) basking in a full spotlight!
Thank you. Simon Overton in Oregon.

Swain on December 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Richard Apple has kindly added some more of my pictures of the S.F. Fox, as it looked in 1929. It has been a labor of love to work on the original black and white negatives that were loaned to me. I hope anyone interested in the long lost Fox will enjoy looking at them. I am still working on two more that will be finished next year.

View link

Bill Swain San Francisco, December, 2009