2017 Fresno Street,
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Built on the site of the Barton Opera House, later renamed Hippodrome Theatre on Fresno Street in downtown Fresno, near the Fulton Mall.
The State Theatre was opened by T&D Theatres in March 1928, and it was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres and renamed Fox State Theatre in September 1928. Taken over by Lippert Theatres in 1947, it was renamed Esquire Theatre. From 1952 it was renamed Seqoia Theatre.
This was one of the favorite movie theaters from my childhood. I had always heard that it had been an opera house before its incarnation as a movie house. The book, “Vintage Fresno” confirms this. Largely, it, along with Fresno’s Hardys Theatre, showed MGM movies during the 1950’s and 1960’s. But it also screened things from Columbia, and other studios. I saw “Gigi” there, and “Bye, Bye, Birdie”.
The Sequoia Theatre was still operating as a movie theatre when I left Fresno in 1969, but had been renamed Towne Theatre in 1968. It went over to screening Adult movies. I’m guessing that it was closed and demolished in the late-1970’s or the early-1980’s.
As a young teen, the manager gave me a “job” of sorts. I placed posters for his movies into retail stores in exchange for movie admissions.
I would love to learn more about the last years of this theatre.
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