Fox Padre Theatre

145 First Street,
San Jose, CA 95113

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Fox Padre Theatre exterior film display

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The Fox Padre Theatre opened in 1933 as purely a movie house, built within the shell of a much older commercial building. It was given a typical Fox style deco marquee of the period, with zig-zag/scroll motifs in neon and a vertical sign to match.

In the 1960’s, Fox toyed with plans to remodel the Padre into a modern cinema named the Capri, but with the rapidly ensuing decline of downtown, these plans were scrapped.

All trace of the Padre Theatre disappeared with the leveling of most buildings on the block to eventually make way for the San Jose Fairmont Hotel and Fairmont Plaza office tower.

Contributed by Gary Parks

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

William
William on November 13, 2003 at 3:32 am

The Fox Padre Theatre was located at 145 S. 1st Street and it seated 998 people.

HowieT
HowieT on December 10, 2003 at 4:44 pm

One of my dearest friends was the manager of the FOX PADRE
for a few years before moving down the street to the FOX CALIFORNIA.
As a kid, I always wanted to venture into this theater – but my
mom always said ‘no.’ So funny. The movie houses that catered to
the families and kids was where I often found myself on rainy
saturday afternoons with my parents and friends: THE FOX CALIFORNIA
(premier of Mary Poppins), THE STUDIO (How The West Was Won) and
the UNITED ARTISTS (Lt Robinson Crusoe USN). THE PADRE was known
for its exploitation and adult themed films. A no-no for any kid
in those days!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 7, 2008 at 1:59 am

I was trying to figure out when this theater was razed. It looks like the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose opened in 1987, so presumably the Fox Padre made it into the 80s. Any additional information would be appreciated.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on September 7, 2008 at 4:20 am

I remember that around the corner from the PADRE THEATRE was the RAINBOW BALLROOM which was on the corner of Market St. and San Fernando. As a frequent patron of the Rainbow, Im positive it closed in the very early 70’s.This was the same time that FAIRMONT HOTELS had planned their redevelopment. It seems that these old buildings hung around for a short period of time before being torn down.

GaryParks
GaryParks on March 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

The Padre closed on June 1, 1965. I do remember that part of the block being bare dirt when I first snooped around Downtown San Jose in the Spring of 1982, photographing its theaters.

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