Kern Theatre

2024 Chester Avenue,
Bakersfield, CA

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Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

William
William on June 23, 2004 at 4:57 pm

During the 40’s the Kern Theatre was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres along with the nearby California, Fox, Nile and Rex Theatres.

JimSpohn
JimSpohn on February 2, 2005 at 7:29 pm

The Kern Theatre started it’s life as Parra’s around 1909 then about 1915 the name was changed to the Hippodrome then in 1938 the name was changed again to the Kern Theatre. The earthquake of 1952 damaged the building to the point that it was no longer useful as a theatre. The building is still standing and is being used a retail store. The fly loft can me made out by viewing the building from the alley.

Eltejon1
Eltejon1 on May 20, 2010 at 12:05 am

The Kern had wood floors——like the Montgomery Ward store just down the street—-showed movies after they first showed at the Fox theatre—-were owned by the same chain.

plinfesty
plinfesty on June 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

THe Hippodrome had actually been closed for nearly a decade when Fiox West Coast decided to rename it the Kern and reopened it in 1938 as a temporary first-run until the Nile opened in a couple of months, where first-run policy was instituted there and the Kern became a second (subsequent) run theatre. Then, in the mid 40’s, the theatre was remodeled (new seats, carpeting, paint) to become a “continued first-run” theatre, linked to the larger Fox Theatre whereas a Fox double feature would move immediately to the Kern without the normal kind of clearance (or buffer)between first and subsequent run engagements. (it was normal to hold back giving films to other theatres in an area for a month or more between first and second run). So the Kern didn’t have to compete at all with other theatres and got to charge more than a second ruin would normally have charged. This was one of the non-competitive practices that the consent decrees banned in late 1949-1950.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

February 10th, 1938 grand opening ad uploaded here.

Eltejon1
Eltejon1 on August 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

In the listing of downtown Bakersfield theaters—-the California between 18 and 19th on Chester was left out-went there often—-dad’s dental office was at 19th and chester—

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