312 E. Main Street,
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Architects: William H. Weeks
Previous Names: California Theatre
Where in the world is Turlock? It is in the central valley of California 13 miles from Modesto (George Lucas). Built and opened by T & D Jr. Enterprises as the California Theatre in 1919. In the early-1940’s, it, and the other theatre in town, the New Turlock Theatre, came under the ownership of United California Theatres. It is unknown when it came under the management Fox West Coast Theatres.
In late-November of 1954, while showing Spanish-language pictures, Fox West Coast closed the theatre suddenly. The city of Turlock had previously found twelve fire code violations which had gone uncorrected. So closing it at a time when theatre attendance was in decline and it was in need of upgrades, if not a remodel, was probably an easy call.
In January of 1955, the building was bought by a developer who planned to turn it into a bowling alley. In June of 1955, the ten lane Turlock Bowl opened on the second floor and then in December eight more lanes opened on the first floor.
When the Fox Theatre closed, the New Turlock Theatre became known as the Fox Theatre.
After being vacant for many years, It was destroyed by fire on June 29, 1972. The determined cause of the fire was children playing in the building. In July of 1973, the city demolished what remained of the building.
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