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Fox Wilshire/Saban Theatre: vintage auditorium views

8440 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211 | map |

Pages about the Fox Wilshire/Saban Theatre: history + exterior views | lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | booth


The original decorative scheme was to be Beaux Arts rather than deco. This drawing showing that design from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection appears on Calisphere.



A sectional drawing of the auditorium with Scheme 2, the deco design. It's from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection on Calisphere. Yes, it's a huge balcony.



A rendering of the auditorium treatment: "modernistic without resort to extremes." Note the very unimaginative drapery treatment compared with what the theatre actually got. The rendering appeared in the December 29, 1929 issue of Motion Picture News. It's on Internet Archive.

Section Two of the issue is the "Theatre Building and Equipment Buyers Guide" featuring photos and drawings of many different theatres. Included is an article by S. Charles Lee about the Tower and Fox Wilshire: "Stretching The Building Fund and the Plot Area."  A similar drawing but not in color is on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection.



A detail of the Scheme 2 proscenium from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection appearing on Calisphere. Also in the collection is a photo of a plaster ornament but it doesn't appear to have ended up at the fox Wilshire.



A look at the proscenium and the main drape fully closed showing one set of the curious traveling curlicues. It's a 1930 Mott Studios photo in the California State Library collection. It's also in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.

More from the California State Library: In addition to what's shown on these pages, there are many more 1930 Mott Studios photos in the collection. They are cataloged rather haphazardly in six sets -- each with a mix of shots from different areas of the theatre: #001443784 - 8 views | #001443782 - 2 views | #001443449 - 11 views | #001386544 - 17 views | #001386542 - 18 views | #001386306 - 17 views



The main drape opening to reveal more of the act curtain -- and the second set of curlicues. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930. The photo is also on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. 



The main drape open a bit more. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The theatre's painted act curtain. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The house right organ grille. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The normal screen size in 1930. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library. The photo is also on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection.



The enlarged image size with top and side masking opened to full Magnascope size. Note the ornate teaser and the fancy side tabs to frame the screen.  Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930

What was Magnascope? Most deluxe theatres of the period had motorized masking on their screen frames so the picture could be suddenly enlarged for certain scenes of a film -- especially those involving action, like a ship coming toward the audience. See the Magnascope articles on Bob Furmanek's 3-D Film Archive site.



An orchestra on stage c.1931. Check out the grand drape -- and that scalloped teaser. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library



An organist in 1931. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library 



A chance to check out the end standards. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The plush loge seating at the rear of the main floor. This area is now part of the expanded lobby. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930



A view back from house left. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The rear of the house from onstage. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



A wonderful view of the Fox Wilshire Theatre's proscenium and house right wall. On stage we see the painted act curtain. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930



The front balcony exit house right -- and a great look at the fantastic array of detail above it. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



A balcony view with the main drape partially opened. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library



A detail of one of the chandeliers -- now lost. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930



A view of the dazzling side wall of the balcony. WOW! Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930



Looking back at the booth. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1930 



The view to the rear of the house from center stage -- after Fox West Coast had painted out some of the decorative work. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



The rear of the auditorium in a photo dated by the Los Angeles Public Library as 1942.



A balcony photo from the Los Angeles Public Library that they date as 1942.



The enticing view from the top of the Fox Wilshire balcony. Note the darker areas between side wall pilasters -- there's been some somber repainting. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.

Pages about the Fox Wilshire/Saban Theatre: history + exterior views | lobby areas | recent auditorium views | back to top - vintage auditorium views | stage | booth

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