Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

What is happening with the beloved Fox Theatre?

Since its opening in 1929, the Fox Theatre in Fullerton was North

abandoned but not forgotten
The abandoned Fox Theater in Fullerton. Photo credit: Joshua Miranda

Orange County’s place for pristine entertainment.

Located at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue, the Fox Theatre was originally built for silent features and vaudeville performances. It’s design, created by Grauman’s Chinese Theater architect Raymond M. Kennedy, was of Italian Renaissance.

However, it abruptly closed in 1987 and was abandoned.

Renovations began to bring back the culture and community millions of residents have missed. These plans have fallen short.

What’s going on? Why are we being kept on our toes?

They’ve held some massive events there, such as the “Bootlegger’s Ball” last November, and the “Fullerton Cares Comedy Club for Autism” before that. However, the plan for the official opening still isn’t crystal clear.

In 2010, the Fullerton RDA funded them $8 million and the theater also had a nearly $2 million grant on their own from CCHE. This lead to their tenants having to move out, creating a recession.

People are wondering why events aren’t taking place, and the theatre says that would require them to spend money on port-o-potties, valet workers, and fire officials because the building, as of now, can’t hold many occupants.

Last year they celebrated their 90th birthday and $500,000 worth of completion on the project.

A reason we ask what’s going on is the absence of communication. One of their board members, Stan Kelton, passed away last year, putting a halt to their communication with the public.

As of September 19, 2016, they posted an update explaining their recent board of Director members, Joan Basilone-Slipp and Bob Winkelmann “have proven to be most helpful.”

Fox Theater
The fox theater sign located in downtown Fullerton still standing tall after shutting down in 1987.

$25 million is the estimated cost to finish the renovations. This will include parking, technology, HVAC and much more.

Their goal is to create a modern version of the theatre, while reinvigorating its original historic elements. It’s lavish design is being enhanced to pristine condition. Amenities such as dining and shopping will also be offered.

For now, we will have to sit back and watch the show.

You can donate to the funding of the Fox Theatre here.





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  • J

    Jesse GeneraOct 4, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Been waiting for years for The Fox to reopen. All I can do for now is remember the years ….. Thick plush seats, crushed red velvet drapes hanging from the ceiling to the floor, a grand staircase leading to the balcony. Would spend my weekends at The Fox in the mid sixties, I was 6 and grandma lived around the corner. Going to The Fox was a inexpensive way of getting us kids out of the house for half a day. Admission was under $1.o0 and it was always a double feature.