Fox Anaheim Theatre

229 W. Lincoln Avenue,
Anaheim, CA 92805

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cabart Theaters Corp, Fox West Coast Theatres, Mann Theatres, National General Theatres

Architects: Phillip W. Holler, Mendel Meyer

Firms: Meyer & Holler

Previous Names: California Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Fox Theatre exterior

Brown brick building was built and opened as the 900-seat California Theatre on October 22, 1921 with Charles Ray in “A Midnight Bell”. It had a large orchestra seating area and a small loge seating area. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer Hope-Jones organ. There was large back-stage area behind the movie screen, with ceiling grid and fly ropes & pulleys, a remnant of live theatre & vaudeville days. A large basement beneath the stage with dressing rooms and make-up room.

The theatre was located on the north side of W. Lincoln Avenue, near the north-east corner of Lemon Street. It was still named California Theatre in 1930 when a Western Electric sound system had been installed, but by 1931 it had been renamed Fox Theatre, operated by Fox West Coast Theatres chain and the seating capacity had been increased to 1,244. By 1950 it was operated by Cabart Theaters Corp.

I was an usher there while in High School and college in the 1960’s. One time the pop/soul group The Platters performed there live. Another time the Reverend Billy Graham had a lecture there.

It was demolished in the 1970’s to make room for the downtown shopping center. I saved one wooden pin from the rope/pin rail, and one brick from its demolition.

Contributed by William Gabel, Ray Harp

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 15, 2007 at 4:56 am

The history of this theatre is well documented in both text and photographs. It was built in 1920 for the Gore Brothers and Sol Lesser, operated by their company, West Coast Theatres, for several years as the California Theatre, and later was renamed the Fox Theatre, operated by the successor circuit Fox-West Coast. Here’s a 1923 photograph of the theatre when it was the site of the premier of the movie Main Street.

It is possible that there was a later theatre in Anaheim also called the California, opened after this theatre was renamed, but this theatre definitely bore the name California Theatre before it became the Fox Theatre.

kencmcintyre on April 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Here is an undated photo from the LAPL, probably from the 1920s:

RayHarp on March 17, 2010 at 3:28 am

The Anaheim Holloween Parade mentioned above passed in front of the FOX ANAHEIM THEATER annually. The parade started at La Palma Park, went south on Harbor Blvd., turned left on Lincoln Avenue (formerly Center Street), passed the FOX, then ended behind Lincoln School. Because the streets were closed-off by the A.P.D., it was very difficult to get to the THEATER on parade day.

RayHarp on March 17, 2010 at 3:46 am

Back in the 1960s, Anaheim was BIG on parades.
And, one time, another parade passed the ANAHEIM FOX THEATER.
In 1967, when the Anaheim Convention Center Dome first opened, the
Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town, and had a huge old-fashioned circus parade heading west on Lincoln Avenue, right in front of the THEATER.

Working there that day, I stood in front of that old FOX THEATER as elephants, giraffes, clowns, and circus wagons with lions & tigers all passed in review, (followed by circus staff with shovels and wheelbarrows!)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Is that 49 cents for a double feature?Not a bad deal.

DonaldKirk on November 27, 2014 at 11:02 am

Been to the Fox many times and hated to see it demolished. Saw Wolfman Jack there (I knew him in later years). My last memory of the place was during demolition, the back wall and roof was down, seats were still in place and the stage curtains were gone. I’m producing concerts now and will in 2015 hold a fundraiser concert for the restoration of the Fullerton Fox.

DavidZornig on April 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm

1925 photo added courtesy of Randy Inghram.

blbachman on April 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm

I managed this theater in ‘75-'76 when it was run by Mann Theatres and was there during the transition from 49-cent to $1.00 admission.

MossyDave on May 31, 2019 at 8:08 pm

Hey Blaine, I worked for you back in 1975 at the Fox. I loved that place.

50sSNIPES on May 14, 2024 at 1:24 pm

Opened with Charles Ray in “A Midnight Bell” along with unknown extras.

The Fox was a first-run movie house throughout most of its life until closing in October 1976. The Fox reopened a short time later screening Spanish features and was closed several years later.

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