Alex Theatre

216 N. Brand Boulevard,
Glendale, CA 91203

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Alex Theatre Wide Shot 2005

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on September 4, 1925 with Jay Hunt in John Ford’s “Lightnin” plus vaudeville on the stage. The Alexander Theatre had a seating capacity for 1,460 and was modeled after the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, having an open courtyard in front. It was designed by architects Arthur George Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk in a Greco-Egyptian style, with the auditorium designed in a Greek Atmospheric style.

In 1940, noted theatre architect S. Charles Lee was commissioned to update the look of the Alex Theatre and the result was a complete overhaul of the marquee including the addition of a fabulous neon pole that illuminates this street in downtown Glendale.

In 1993, the theater was renovated again to become a live performance hall and has been used almost exclusively for shows and live theater.

It did, however, host the opening extravanganza for Disney’s “Mulan”, in place of their usual venue, the El Capitan Theater. The Alex Film Society hosts classic film screenings inside the Alex from time to time.

Recent comments (view all 61 comments)

drb
drb on December 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I’ve got some photos that I still need to edit and post from last year(sigh), showing the Alex together with its floral “Mini-Me,” but JustGlendale posted this video walk-around of the 2009 Rose Parade float version of the Alex parked in front of the actual Alex.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQhTYEP0Lkk

drb
drb on January 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

Article about improvements being made to the Alex, starting with reupholstering the seats:

View link

lwmulder
lwmulder on March 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

I am Linda Gayle Langley. My father was Claude Alexander Langley, for whom the Alexander (Alex) theater was named in Glendale CA. I would very much like to hear from the person who posted as Johnny Vegas – I believe he is my cousin! Please send any further information about the theater and my father and grandfather that you have. Thank you so much!!
Linda

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 9, 2010 at 3:17 am

Hope it can stay open.Great theatre,you guys should be proud of it.

drb
drb on August 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

There’s a great video documentary that airs now and then on the local cable access channel GTV6. I can’t get the MS Silverlight plugin to work right now, but it might be found somewhere here. You might have to wait for the next time “Exploring Historic Glendale: Alex Theatre” comes up on the schedule and watch it off the live feed:

View link
http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/stream.asp

Ross Care
Ross Care on January 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Alex neon and marquee for a live performance of IRMA LA DOUCE:
View link

Ross Care
Ross Care on January 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Please feel free to visit my FLICKr album of vintage theater photos, ads, and memorabilia. Mostly includes theaters in Pennsylvania and Los Angeles but also a few international cinemas. Thank you.
View link

brianalexderek
brianalexderek on June 19, 2012 at 6:24 am

In early 2012 the State of California ‘took back’ the ability of cities to use Redevelopment to withhold property tax increases from the State.

Cities across the State sued and lost in Court. Now the State is threatening to seize projects and sell off for a one time cash infusion.

Glendale used the RD process to buy, restore and operate the Alex as a performing arts center (music, dance and occasional film screenings by the Alex Film Society).

In a few weeks the Alex’s fate may be known.

mrquisp
mrquisp on August 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

I worked there in the summer of 78 and it was perhaps the job that I had the most fun at. I remember how lonely it was to work the ticket booth, especially on those slow nights when a stinker of a film was showing, and how busy it got when you had a first rate film (we had the rerelease of Star Wars and I remember dealing with the long ticket lines). It also got really hot in there when the sun shined on it. It had a safe in there and always wondered why we never got held up in there, being so isolated.

I remember the manager getting really paranoid whenever she got word that Ted Mann might drop in to see how the theatre was doing (since it was owned by Mann Theatres).

One of the best perks was able to get in to any of the movie theatres in Glendale, Eagle Rock or Hollywood for free!

DavidT
DavidT on June 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Here is a very interesting (and lengthy) video on the history of the Alex Theater.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyEFu4wd-qo

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