A few days ago I updated the Fox Inglewood page with some new photos by Michelle Gerdes. The Fox is an interesting time capsule. It closed in the 80s and has been sitting virtually undisturbed ever since. And it's still sitting, waiting for a rescue.
It's a "Skouras-style" house. A genre that you probably either love or hate. At a time when much design was getting the modern look the head of Fox West Coast Theatres, Charles Skouras, had his architectural team in the late 40s and early 50s take a different tack towards a lush neo-baroque feel.
The program was an attempt to create a program so theatres could be remodeled (or constructed from scratch as the Fox Inglewood was) in an economical fashion while creating a new sumptuous feel for post-war audiences with new expectations of luxury.
While many of the buildings ended up quite different from each other, you could always spot certain prefabricated elements: lush red draperies, exotic gold plaster swirls encompassing the proscenium, etched aluminum surround panels at the snack bar and drinking fountains, etc. The basic program was applied to hundreds of theatres. While the components differed, the consistent style was unmistakable. Fox maintained its own huge assembly plant to produce many of the decorative elements.
In a remodel it might be just a shiny "padded-looking" gold and aluminum snack bar and a few Skouras swirls below the proscenium like the Palace downtown. Or it could mean gutting the building and ending up with a totally new creation in an old shell like the Crest in Sacramento.
The photo here is one of four wonderful views newly on the Fox page that were taken by adventurous theatre explorer Michelle Gerdes. And if you check out the page, you'll find links to more of her stellar work.