132 W. Lincoln Avenue,
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The Anaheim Historical Society says that the Fairyland Theatre was built in 1917 by John Cassou and designed by Eugene Durfee as a theatre primarily for motion pictures. An article dated May 18, 1922 from the Anaheim Gazette on file at the Anaheim Public Library, noted that the previous Saturday evening during vaudeville night a fire started in the operating room from a box of film. The audience of 800 in the sold-out house didn’t panic and in fact they refused to leave until finally persuaded to do so by the stage manager after the firemen had entered the building. Damage was $2,000 and the manager said the theatre would be up and running again in about a week.
The Historical Society says that during the early 1920’s the Fairyland Theatre was the scene of many Klu Klux Klan rallies. These rallies finally stopped in 1924 with the recall of four city trustees, alleged members of the Klan.
Sources say that of the four downtown theatres, including the Fox Theatre, the Grand Theatre and the Star Theatre, the Fairyland Theatre was the most “ornate and original”.
The theatre was taken over by Fox West Coast in 1933 and renamed the Anaheim Theatre. It continued its operation until 1951 when Fox closed it because of declining attendance. The Fox Theatre, just a block away, would remain open for about another 25 years until it was demolished in the middle 1970’s.
The Anaheim Theatre was taken over by Pussycat Theatres and it was taken over by the city in 1983, when demolition plans were announced, its old lobby was used as a jewelry store and the auditorium, with its seats removed, was used for storage.
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