Fox Theatre Taft
514 Center Street,
7 people favorited this theater
Fox Theatre Taft (Official)
Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, T & D Jr. Enterprises
Architects: Lewis Arthur Smith
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Hippodrome Theatre, Fox Theatre
News About This Theater
- Feb 20, 2012 — Taft Fox reopens
- Jan 9, 2012 — Taft Fox Theatre to reopen soon
- Jan 31, 2011 — Current operator closes the Fox in Taft; removes equipment
- Nov 12, 2010 — Fox Theatre in Taft faces foreclosure auction
T & D’s 900-seats Hippodrome Theatre was opened around 1918. It became part of the Fox West Coast Theatres chain by 1930. The Hippodrome Theatre was destroyed by fire in February 1950.
On May 1, 1951, it had been rebuilt and was opened as the Fox Theatre with 1,078-seats. This is one of the theatres where you enter on the side (the back corner, actually) due to the fact that the theatre auditorium runs along the block behind stores. A restored advertisement on the back of the theatre has the slogan ‘the place to go’.
The marquee is excellent, and an extension covers a neighboring storefront. The theatre had a single screen, but there are five poster boxes. The external ticket booth is long gone, but the lobby was not glassed in completely.
The Fox Theatre was closed in January 2011, it reopened in January 2012. The theatre seemed to be in very good shape. It operated with a program of concerts, movies, live performances and other events. It was closed in December 2022.
The Fox Theatre Taft was reopened on February 17, 2023 with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” & “Avatar: Way of the Water”.
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Recent comments (view all 30 comments)
The theater has been closed and the most recent operator has begun to remove equipment: View link
Such an awesome marquee, it should be saved and the neon restored, they are not made like this anymore,,,, move it to a new theatre and restore it.. It appears to be similar to the PIX that was on Hollywood Blvd,(Now Henry Fonda Theatre, they should of kept the neon marquee) huge flashing neon colors, just beautiful !!
Great news, the Fox Theater is opening back up. Marty Stuart is performing for the theater Friday, June 10, 2011.
Reopening planned for 2012.
Reopening is here! http://taftindependent.com/foxy-lady-opens-once-again-p246-90.htm
Opening weekend went well. There are some photos in this issue of the Taft Independent
Successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to covert to digital projection
Digital Conversion is completed
The only item I’ve found about this theater in the trade publications so far is this one from the December 6, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald-World:As the article refers to the Fox as “the town’s theatre,” the other houses in Taft must all have closed by that time. I’ve found references to a Olympia Theatre, renamed Photoplay Theatre in 1914; a Star Theatre, renamed Optic Theatre in 1916; and a Rex Theatre, operating in 1917. Given the time spread, these might have all been the same theater operating under five different names.
I still haven’t been able to discover if the original Hippodrome Theatre, built in 1917-18, was entirely demolished to make way for the West Coast Hippodrome in 1925, or if part of the original structure was incorporated into the new house. However, this item from the November 16, 1917, issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor is probably about the original Hippodrome:
closed per September 22nd article:
The Fox Theater is closed, temporarily at least, and the West Side Recreation and Park District is in contact with the building’s owner to see if it can be reopened.
There are numerous problems with the landmark downtown theater that resulted in it being closed earlier this month.
Boxoffice, April 21, 1951: “TAFT, CALIF. - Replacing the old Hippodrome Theatre, destroyed by fire in February 1950, Fox West Coast will open its new $300,000 Fox Theatre here May 1. The showcase has 1,078 seats.”