Fox Hanford Theatre

326 N. Irwin Street,
Hanford, CA 93230

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 14 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Here is a photo of the Fox Theatre in Hanford taken October 5, 1936, by photographer G. Haven Bishop for the Southern California Edison Company.

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

A few 2011 photos can be seen here, here, here and here.

Patsy on October 15, 2008 at 10:02 am

And according to the theatre’s website this one has a Mighty Wurlitzer!

Patsy on October 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

Lost: I found this link since I just finished reading a book that mentions Hanford CA and its theatre marquee. Very nice.

Hockey Dude
Hockey Dude on November 7, 2007 at 10:25 pm

There are a lot of great theaters in central Cali, some open, some closed. I used to go here when visitng my uncle and aunt back in the 70s-80s. They sure did a great job restoring it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 30, 2006 at 8:44 pm

What I’d really like to see are some animated .GIF pictures of the neon marquee going through its routine. In fact, I’d like to see such pictures of a lot of theatres with neon marquees.

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 8:23 pm

Detective Vogel strikes again…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 28, 2005 at 8:07 pm

The various Spanish style theatres that Balch and Stanberry designed for Fox in that era were so much alike that it almost seems as though they had set up an assembly line to produce the plans. In fact, maybe they did. So many theatres were turned out by the firm in such a short time, their offices must have been full of busy draftsmen copying bits and pieces here and there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 27, 2005 at 9:55 pm

lostmemory and ken mc: The pictures of the Fox under construction and after opening both depict the Visalia Fox Theatre in Visalia, Tulare County, not the Fox Hanford. They are quite similar in style, having been designed by the same architectural firm of Balch and Stanberry, but they differ a bit in details.

tomdelay on June 15, 2005 at 9:20 pm

The only major Skouras decor was in the lobby. Thankfully, the lobby was all that “got it” during the Skouras daze. I have seen a photo of the lobby circa 1950. The Humasons are to be commended for bringing the lobby back to the “feel” of its opening days. Unlike the Fox California in Salinas and Fox Bakersfield that had their original interiors chipped away for the “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” decor, the rest of the Hanford is thankfully intact.

There is more! In the last couple of years, the Humasons have uncovered much of the original tile and concrete work under the marquee, covered during the “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” era.
The effort and workmanship has done much to bring back some of the original look of the Hanford’s entrance.

The original pipe organ in the Hanford was assembled by Louis A. Maas using the 4-rank style B Wurlitzer from the original “Hanford Theatre” (nee T & D Theatre, opus 860, and three new ranks built in his own Los Angeles shop. The organ eventually ended up, severely cobbled, in a southeast Fresno Presbyterian church. The remains of the original Hanford Fox organ were donated to a local theatre organ society in the Fresno area.

GaryParks on November 27, 2004 at 5:10 pm

Beyond a definite Skouras-style concession counter (long gone), I’m not aware that this theatre ever was subjected to any degree of Skouras treatment. As far as I know, the auditorium has always remained fully intact in its atmospheric Spanish/Moorish village style. Another Central Valley atmospheric theatre, the Fox in Bakersfield, indeed had its auditorium and entry completely redone in the Skouras style, and remains so.

JimRankin on May 25, 2004 at 9:00 am

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also show in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 44 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to lend it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

tomdelay on September 27, 2002 at 8:51 pm

The Humason Family live and breathe this theatre. In 1989, we installed a 2 manual 10 rank Wurlitzer (mostly from the LA Westlake Theatre) that is regularly used for concerts and silent films by the Sequoia Chapter American Theatre Organ Society.

The Humasons have done a superb job of bringing this theatre back to life. The lobby was in a very sad state when they took ownership.

They recast much of the plasterwork in the lobby from photos. The auditorium is magnificent.

GaryParks on August 19, 2002 at 6:39 pm

The architects were Balch & Stanberry.