Fox Theatre

1230 1st Street,
Napa, CA 94559

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit, Fox West Coast Theatres

Previous Names: Hippodrome Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Fox Napa 1940's

Located at the corner of 1st Street and Randolph Street. The Hippodrome Theatre was opened November 23, 1920. In 1923 it was equipped with a Smith 2 manual 11 ranks pipe organ. It was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres and re-named Fox Theatre, reopening on August 31, 1929 with Edmund Lowe in “In Old Arizona”. During the 1940’s it was operated by Blumenfeld Theatres.

The Fox Theatre was still listed as open in 1952, but closed in October 1958 when it was converted into a 12-lane bowling alley which opened in January 1959. It was later demolished and the Archer Hotel now stands on the site.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

rkoch on May 1, 2006 at 12:25 pm

This picture and the Fox theatre listed in cinema treasures are one and the same in Napa. It was the Hippodrome and then the Fox

LBorg on February 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

My Uncle Lawrence Borg was an owner of the Fox.

In 1933 Uncle Lawrence became half owner of the Fox and State Theatres leases and business in Napa, Calfornia, and in 1935 Sole owner. In 1936 he built and began operation of the Uptown Theatre in Napa and in 1938 converted the State Theatre into the Napa Bowl, a bowling alley, which he operated for a year. He sold the Uptown, Fox and State leases to the Blumfield Theatres, San Francisco. He also built the Santa Rosa, California Bowling Alley in 1938 and operated it until 1940 when it was sold.

GaryMeyer on February 22, 2012 at 4:55 am

What happened to the historic picture that was here? I don’t know if this is the correct corner as I think McCalou’s Department Store is where the Fox was.

This recent article in the Napa Register has some mistakes (like claiming the Fox becoming a bowling alley when it was actually the State per above and my own memory). But there are theaters mentioned here I never knew about.

AndrewBarrett on April 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

According to the “Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” pg. 628, the Hippodrome (Fox) Theatre in Napa, California had a two manual, 11 rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1923. No other details are given in the book.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ?

VBC on September 21, 2014 at 1:17 am

Hi Andrew, You may want to check the Napa Seventh Day Adventist Church. This article from their 140th anniversary seems to be saying the church organ in their current building is from the former downtown Napa Fox theater: But in a video showing their organ, it appears to have 3 manuals? I attend Valley Bible Chapel, which worships in the Seventh Day Adventist church’s original building downtown. We do have a Leathurby-Smith two-manual organ, but it sounds like from the Seventh Day Adventist church’s website history page that the organ in our building was bought new if I’m interpreting it correctly: If there is a chance the organ we have is the one you are looking for, I can provide more info. Unfortunately, the pipes were damaged in the Napa quake on Aug. 24, 2014, so it is not functioning right now.

AndrewBarrett on October 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Dear VBC, thank you for your wonderful comment! It is great to know this organ still exists! It is too bad to hear it was damaged in the earthquake, but I hope it can repaired and gotten up and running before too long.

I will be making a trip to Northern California in November 2014 and am hoping that perhaps I can pay the church a visit to look at the organ (functioning or not) for historical purposes (I will be visiting a Smith-Geneva organ in Roseville on the trip). I am putting together a little webpage on Smith, Seeburg-Smith, Smith-Geneva, and Leathurby-Smith pipe organs, and my research is for this webpage. If any of my research ends up being good enough/detailed enough, I hope to have it published in the ATOS “Theatre Organ” magazine, since I’m a member of ATOS.

Thanks a lot!


VBC on October 2, 2014 at 2:22 am

Hi Andrew, I’m glad the info was of some help. We (especially our organist) would love to have you visit. We got the estimate for the repairs to the pipes last week, and it wasn’t as costly as we’d feared it may be so the repairs have been approved. I’m not sure whether they will be done before November, but it will be good to have the organ up and playing again. I’m putting our website and Google Plus page here, so you will have more info on where to find us and how to contact us: Hope to see you in November!

vrcobb on July 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

My mother, Muriel Alexander, lived on Randolph Street and was the Head Usherette at Napa’s Fox Theatre in the late 1920’s. Anyone want to trade stories?

nixols on December 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Napa Journal October 15, 1958

New Bowling Alley in Fox Theatre Annoucement was made Monday that one of the most deluxe bowling alleys in north central California will be installed in the Fox Theatre building…Howard D. McBride, representative of the Blumenfeld Enterprises, 70 Eddy Street San Francisco, says that 12 lane alleys will be built…Expected to open about January 15…Blumenfeld Enterprises is a family operation of four brothers. Joe, Abe, Nate, and Jack. They operate the KVON theatres…

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