Fox Theatre

1430 Spring Street,
Paso Robles, CA 93446

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

Brennagarman on May 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Yesterday while driving down Spring Street, I passed the old Fox Theater. Old and empty buildings make me sad. The Fox theater was once a place of joy and happiness where people from all roads in life gathered together, even if it was just to stare at a screen. But movies were more back then, it was an outing and people would dress up and enjoy themselves. As I glanced up to look at the all familiar “For Sale” sign I realized it was missing. In its place, on the marquee, in beautiful big black letters, “Future Downtown Home of Re:Find Distillery‚Äč”. I was so happy! The owners of Re:Find are going to breath life into this dying building. The Fox Theater will once again be a place of joy and happiness. I wish I could see it before the work starts, I always had a plan in the back of my mind to break in and take pictures.

Chicadita on January 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

Does anyone know if the owner and community would be ok turning it into a live theatre? It’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while, but I don’t know how everyone would feel about it?

dltdct on October 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm

What is your point Moviemanforever. Why would you spend your time making negative comments on this site.

PaulieLou7 on October 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

Hello, I spoke with the owner of this and he is open to lease or sale of the property. He would like to stay involved if possible. As soon as he has one solid lease he can get funding for rehab and get the place up and running again. Things are in the works! If you are interested you can call me at 805-235-4666

BuildingBuff on July 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Hello, I am new to this site, and was very excited to see the old Fox Theatre on here. I have been fantasizing buying it and fixing up for years! Does anyone have pictures of what the inside originally looked like? I would love to get in on fixing it up. It would even be cool to make it one of those new wine bar/ theaters. It is in the perfect place for doing that! Right in the hot happening part of town! Maybe someone at the city level could be rallied to help restore it since it is an historical building?

dltdct on October 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Here is a current 2010 Photo of the building known as the Fox Theater in Paso Robles. I have heard that the owners have attempted to obtain a tenant for the building on multiple occasions over the years and have had the building on the market at various times. If you want to know who the owners are I believe you can find that out via County Records. Contact them make an offer the dream could be yours. I spent several minutes outside admiring the building and did not see a single pigeon.

WHITEFIELD on June 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Here is a photo from 2006
View link

tstrickland on December 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Hi – My name is Tonya Strickland and I cover Paso Robles for The Tribune newspaper. I’m seeking details on who the current owner of the Fox Theater is and any contacts in the group that tried to raise funds for it a few years back. If you have any information, please contact me at 805-781-7858 or It can be off the record if you prefer. Thank you.

Brennagarman on July 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Several years ago the owner of the Fox Theatre was selling seats. I’m not sure if they were the original theatre seats or if they had upgraded sometime during its operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

The second sentence in my comment above should say the Hi-Ho opened in late June, 1941.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Various issues of Boxoffice Magazine indicate that the Hi-Ho Theatre was built for Arthur M. Miller in 1941. It opened early in June that year. In 1942, Miller sold the house to Fox West Coast’s T&D Theatres affiliate.

The January 19, 1957, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Fox West Coast planned to close its T&D Theatre in Paso Robles. Their intention was to demolish the auditorium and convert the lobby to retail space. The Hi-Ho Theatre would be renovated to become the chain’s main house in Paso Robles. The December 7 issue of Boxoffice that same year said that the Hi-Ho Theatre had been renamed the Fox Theatre.

There are frequent mentions of Al Stanford in issues of Boxoffice from 1951 until 1973, most often in connection with the Oaks Drive-In (not yet listed at Cinema Treasures, by the way.) The Fox is also mentioned frequently, but I can’t find a single mention of the third Paso Robles hardtop, the Park Theatre. However, Paso Robles currently has a 9-screen multiplex at 1100 Pine Street downtown called the Park Cinemas 9. It’s not listed here yet either.

tomdelay on April 27, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Was there ever a stage? Perhaps a thrust stage or a stage for the speakers, but that would be about it if it is even still there. There certainly never was a fly.

If the exterior is any indication, the inside must be grim. I was in PR last week and the Fox is pretty much as it has been for years and years—uncared for and boarded-up.

The old Park Theatre/T & D was further downtown and actually had a small Wurlitzer. That organ was given to the local Methodist church who trashed the organ…several decades ago.

gic on April 27, 2008 at 11:26 am

Has anybody been in the Fox Theatre in Paso Robles in recent years?
Is the stage still there?
What does the inside structure look like.


kencmcintyre on February 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm

The Hi-Ho marquee can be seen on the left side of the frame in this undated photo:

Prawns on May 18, 2007 at 11:41 am

I heard that they put a wood skating floor in this theatre? True? Does anyone know if its still there?

danwhitehead1 on April 2, 2007 at 10:16 am

If ednsb is talking about Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres then it’s a Walnut/Pussycat that I never heard of, and I worked for them for a long time as I stated above. They had ten houses in the San Diego area, four in Oceanside and I can’t even remember how many in the Los Angeles area. The Oaks Drive-In was dark for most of the time I worked for them but I do remember Raul Castenada, who was their chief projectionist for many years, talking about how much trouble the sound system caused and that he was trying to talk Mr. Miranda and Mr. Tate into changing over to an FM broadcast sound system. The drive-in was still operating when Walnut had it, at least for a little while. They are the ones who shut it down. I think ednsb is mistaken.

ednsb on April 2, 2007 at 9:16 am

Scott, to answer your question about whether my uncle owned those others theaters, I honestly don’t know but believe the answer is no. Most of his properties were in the Santa Cruz area and NCal. He has sold those before I was old enough to know what he did except for the theaters in Paso.

Also he had sold the Oaks before it ever started showing even mildly soft X stuff.

danwhitehead1 on April 2, 2007 at 8:02 am

I never heard any comments about the possibility of the Fox showing X-rated fare. I went there twice on orders from Mr. Tate. The first time was to service the equipment as there were plans to lease the house. Nothing ever came of it. The second time I was there was to remove the platter system. I can’t remember now if I removed any of the other projection equipment; I probably did. I do recall hearing of a theatre in Orcutt, but I don’t know anything about it. Sorry. I worked for Walnut/Pussycat from 1972-1974 and then again from 1978-1989. It was a lot of hard work and long hours and I’d do it again at the drop of a hat. My home was in San Diego and I drove all over for them. A guy who has postings at this website, Jay Allen Sanford, is a writer for the Reader newspaper in San Diego. He’s putting together an article about Mr. Miranda. Feel free to e-mail me at the e-dress posted in my profile here.

scottfavareille on April 2, 2007 at 7:49 am

Dan, I appreciate the information & have read a pretty fair amount of info about the Pussycat Theater chain over the years. And that theater outside SLO was called the Log Cabin (I still remember the ads in the Telegram-Tribune.)

Was there any consideration that the Fox would become an XXX theater? I don’t recall much opposition to the Oaks Drive-In showing XXX fare (despite the fact it was near Hwy 101), but I do recall Sheriff Whiting making statements in the Telegram-Tribune about the shutting down of the Log Cabin. (I wonder if the climate against porn in SLO county in the 1980’s had anything to do with business plans for the Fox.)

Also, there was a theater in Orcutt (Northern Santa Barbara County, just south of Santa Maria) that showed XXX fare. Was that a Walnut Properties house? Any info on Walnut is much appreciated.

danwhitehead1 on April 2, 2007 at 7:13 am

That’s because it never showed x-rated movies and, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that I didn’t say it did. Walnut Properties/Pussycat theatres owned several houses that were not x-rated. Also, this house was dark all the time Walnut/Pussycat owned it. They also owned the Oaks Drive-In; I removed all the projection equipment from there some time in the ‘80s. The theatre in San Luis Obispo was called, if I remember correctly, the Log Cabin. Mr. Tate was advised beforehand that it was a bad move but paid no attention.

danwhitehead1 on April 2, 2007 at 7:11 am

That’s because it never showed x-rated movies and, if you pay attnetion, you’ll notice that I didn’t say it did. Walnut Properties/Pussycat theatres owned several houses that were not x-rated. Also, this house was dark all the time Walnut/Pussycat owned it. They also owned the Oaks Drive-In; I removed all the projection equipment from there some time in the ‘80s. The theatre in San Luis Obispo was called, if I remember correctly, the Log Cabin. Mr. Tate was advised beforehand that it was a bad move but paid no attention.

scottfavareille on April 2, 2007 at 6:54 am

The only theaters that played XXX fare in San Luis Obispo county were (all early to mid 1980’s):

Oaks Drive-In—Paso Robles Usually played XXX fare in the winter months (started in late 1970’s)
Central Coast Theater—Pismo Beach In the early 1980’s, they showed XXX fare at midnight on Fridays & Saturdays (I saw Cafe Flesh there, I also know they played Deep Throat and a few others) A local preacher started picketing the theater (& also went after stores that sold Playboy & Penthouse) and the midnight screenings of XXX fare stopped.
A building (a prior dance hall converted into a theater) just outside the San Luis Obispo city limits—Walnut Properties started showing foreign films here (non-sex) for a few weeks, then converted it into an XXX house that was raided by the Sheriff’s office within 2 weeks. They tried showing XXX fare again & the Sheriff raided the theater (within a week) & it wound up having its operating permit yanked & thus it went out of business.

I do not recall the Fox showing XXX fare.

danwhitehead1 on April 1, 2007 at 8:37 pm

I was at this house a couple of times for my employer Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres. There was something a little spooky about it and I’m not the kind of guy who get spooked.

scottfavareille on September 5, 2006 at 9:19 am

Question—Did Al Stanford also own/operate the following theaters in San Luis Obispo county at one time: Bay (Morro Bay), Fair Oaks(Arroyo Grande), and a 2-screener in Atascadero (name escapes me at the moment)?