Bob Hope Theatre
242 E. Main Street,
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The T & D Photoplay Theatre was opened in July 1917 and was designed in a Classical-Corinthian style by architect Albert W. Cornelius for the T & D Enterprises chain. Seating was provided for 2,540 with 1,040 in the orchestra level and 1,500 in the balcony. It was re-named California Theatre in 1923 when it was taken over by the Fox West Coast Theatres chain. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 Manual/ 9 Rank theatre organ which was opened by organist Albert Hay Malott and the permanent organist for the theatre A.C. Walsh. It was closed in 1929 to be extensively remodeled to the plans of architects Balch & Stanbery.
It reopened on October 14, 1930 with Spencer Tracy in “Up the River”. The Wurlitzer 3 manual 9 rank theatre organ had been retained in its original installation, and was opened by organist Inez McNeil, who had been the resident organist on the instrument.
Its glorious run of first run films lasted until 1969 when the Fox Theatre became a venue for second run movies. Finally, no longer able to support itself, the theatre closed in 1973. The original Wurlitzer organ had been removed from the theatre in the 1950’s.
Despite various efforts to bring back the Fox Theatre, it wasn’t until 1996 that its true and lasting resurrection was realized. Today, the Fox Theatre is a lively concert hall and a survivor of the decline of the movie palace. With over 2,000 seats, the Fox Theatre is still a stunner. A Robert Morton 4 manual theatre organ has been installed, originally installed in the Fox Theatre, Seattle in 1928.
The Fox Theatre was renamed for the late legendary entertainer Bob Hope in 2004.
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