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Opened: August 17, 1951 with the feature "Meet Me After the Show," a 20th Century Fox film starring Betty Grable. The photo of opening night is one of a set of six by a Mr. Sandusky in the USC Digital Library collection taken that night by the Los Angeles Examiner.
The building is on the east side of th street about 13 blocks north of Venice Blvd. Lincoln Blvd. as it goes through Venice is also Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Fox Venice ran conventional Hollywood movies until 1973 when it became a daily change revival house under the management of Cumberland Mountain Cinemas. Landmark took over the operation in 1979. Later Rafigh Pooya operated the house running films from India and elsewhere.
Architect: It was a fairly standard Fox West Coast Skouras-style building. The architect of record is not known. Presumably Fox West Coast's in-house designer Carl Moeller had a hand in it.
A drawing of the theatre's facade in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Ralph Morris gets the credit by the Library for photographing it.
Seating: 1,003 - all on a single level
The Fox Venice in the Movies: The Fox Venice Theatre is seen in "Messiah of Evil" (International Cine Film Corporation, 1973). The film, also known as "Dead People," was directed by Willard Huyck and stars Michael Greer and Marianna Hill. It's about a mysterious cult in a strange California seaside town. The theatre scene is on YouTube.
Bruce Kimmel advises that the inside of the theatre is also seen in "The First Nudie Musical," (Paramount, 1976). We also get exterior views of the Music Box and the Hollywood Theatre. Mr. Kimmel was the writer for the film.
Status: Closed in 1988 due to asbestos issues. Currently it's fairly intact but with a flat floor. It's being used as a swap meet.
The Fox Venice auditorium as a swap meet. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
More exterior views:
The 1951 opening of the theatre. The photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection is by Ralph Morris, a popular commercial photographer working from 1939 until 1981.
Another August 17, 1951 Ralph Morris photo from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
A view of the opening night crowd under the typical Skouras-style marquee of the Fox Venice. It's a Ralph Morris photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
Also in the LAPL collection by Ralph Morris: stars at the opening | stars under the marquee | more celebrities |
Thanks to Michael Hayashi for this 1957 look at the theatre, a post of his on the Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica Facebook page. Note the guys up working on the Fox lettering on the tower.
A 1982 look at the Fox Venice playing a double bill of "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai." That must have been a long evening. The photo is part of the collection of American Classic Images.
A 1983 photo by Mike Sergieff taken for the Herald Examiner. It's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
A 1988 shot by Mike Sergieff for the Herald Examiner that's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Note that the Fox lettering is gone from the tower.
Thanks to Martin for this fine view of the building from his site You-Are-Here.com.
The area where the boxoffice had been. The original front doors of the theatre have been removed. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
A view south on Lincoln Blvd. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The former Fox Venice from across the street. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Fox Venice for lots of stories and links to additional exterior photos.
Pat Hartman's Virtual Venice site has a great article on "The Fabulous Fox Venice" detailing its history as a revival house.
Also check out the website Venice History.
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