Fox California Theater

241 Main Street,
Salinas, CA 93901

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T and D Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The T & D Theatre opened in November 1921 and was designed by Albert W. Cornelius. It was was sold to Fox Theatres in 1930, being renamed Fox California Theater and remodeled by architect Alexander A Cantin in 1935. It was later remodeled possibly by Carl G. Moeller in 1949.

After many years of closure, it has re-opened as a live performance venue and was refurbished in 2002.

Contributed by Jim Crowl

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

tomdelay
tomdelay on August 6, 2007 at 9:30 pm

That photo is interesting. It is from probably about 1934 or so.
The bank building on the right (still standing) does not have all its windows in it yet. That bank building has some woderfully preserved high art deco features including light fixtures and plaster
bas relief panels that would have looked right at home in the Oakland Paramount.

That F-O-X vertical sign is from 1927 and is still on the building.
As is probably mentioned above, the present “skin” over the original facade was added in 1948 or 49. The original A.W. Cornelius facade is still under that “skin”. However, the top of the facade was built of brick and was largely demolished. This includes the urns and ornamentation along the original facade’s top. The columns, arched windows, and probably the statues are still there.

A photo in the local newspaper morgue shows the statues still in-place as the “skin” was being applied over the original facade.

GaryParks
GaryParks on August 15, 2007 at 11:29 pm

A theatre historian/collector friend of mine just acquired a stack of photos showing the Fox California with its pre-Skouras, but deco interior—very thoroughly photographed. There were chandeliers identical to those still in the Watsonville Fox, what appear to be the original Cornelius-designed organ grilles were visible, though flanked by simple moderne pilasters which now flank Skouras swirls. The metal poles supporting the balcony still had their original 20s plaster, with Ionic capitals just like the ones which still exist in the Mezzanine passageway. Speaking of the latter, the three gold-painted goddess figures were not there. Rather, the space between the Ionic pilasters was occupied by a very classy deco mural of leaping gazelles and-or hounds amid stylized foliage. In both lobby spaces and auditorium, there were simple moderne wall light fixtures where the present sheet-metal-foliage fixtures are.
Not surprisingly, the deco etched mirror in the lobby had a twin where the concession stand now is.

hadavis
hadavis on September 21, 2007 at 11:29 pm

I’ve been working on the Fox Theater Salinas web site for the new owners (www.foxtheatersalinas.com) and I’d love to have a few of the old pictures for the history page. Can anyone help me? I’m a transplant to Salinas – by the time I got here it was redone. What I’d really like are the old black and whites like the one one this page (or permission to use that one if anyone knows how to contact the owner).

GaryParks
GaryParks on February 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Holly: contact me below, and I can steer you in the right direction re. those historic photos.

tomdelay
tomdelay on February 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Already did it Gary.

tld

Paula Wirth
Paula Wirth on August 10, 2008 at 12:36 am

I just visited Salinas on August 8, 2008, and took a ton of pictures of the Fox California Theater, including the front, sign, ticket booth and interior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

The L.A. Library’s California Index contains a card citing an item in the May, 1935, issue of Architect & Engineer which said that architect Alexander A. Cantin had prepared the plans for remodeling the T&D Theatre in Salinas, and that the house would now be called the Fox Theatre.

I can’t find anything about who did the 1949 remodeling, but my guess would be that it was Charles Skouras’s favorite designer of the era, Carl G. Moeller.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

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