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Pomona Fox Theater Reopening Collection SC2010.02
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  • History
  • Donor
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Pomona Fox Theater Reopening Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: SC2010.02
    Contributing Institution: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.33 Linear feet 1 Container
    Date (inclusive): 1979-2010
    Shelf Location: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, University Library, Special Collections, Room 4426 Shelf E-2
    Collection Description: The Pomona Fox Theater first opened its doors in 1931. After 70 years of theater-going, It was shut down in 2001. Finally, after a 10 million dollar renovation, it proudly re-opened its doors on April 18, 2009. This collection contains flyers, a program, newspaper, DVD, magazine and reprinted newspaper and booklet related to the reopening events for the new Pomona Fox Theater.


    The Pomona Fox Theater opened its doors on April 24, 1931 at a cost of $300,000. The Pomona Fox was designed by Balch and Standberry of Los Angeles. Along with its big city flair, it had an Art Deco design, 1750 seats and was equipped with some of the latest technology, including a new projection and sound system and one of the first commercial air-conditioners. The interior décor of the Fox featured murals and tapestries, elaborate plaster panels, ornamental iron work and couches. On the outside of the theater, the 81 foot tall corner tower was crowned with a rotating red and blue neon ‘FOX’ sign. For years it was the tallest structure in the valley and was visible from neighboring cities. On the stage of the theater not only did it have movie showings, premieres, and previews but also concerts, talent shows, lectures, dances and, political events. With the 1950’s and 1960’s came the age of suburban living, freeway building and the rise of shopping centers and malls like Montclair Plaza. The customers that once made downtown Pomona a thriving place dwindled, the overall economy of downtown Pomona fell, which of course included the movie goers. Even after a refurbishing in 1957, it fell in disarray in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was closed in 1976.
    From then the theater was used by the city for a few plays, concerts and festivals, After some years the theater went into private hands. It was bought by a businessman and used to show Spanish-language films and then leased to a “neo-Pentecostal” church from Brazil. The area around the theater was designated the Pomona Arts Colony in 1994, where artist lofts, galleries, restaurants and nightclubs appeared the surrounding downtown area. The theater was leased from 1999 to 2002 to a dance promoter where it was vandalized and many of the historic fixtures and murals were ruined in the many rave dances held in the Fox. The city closed down the theater after the deaths of two patrons and then purchased it for 1.1 million in 2002.
    The Fox was bought by Arteco Partners and Glasshouse Inc. in 2008 to bring the theater back to life. Now as a Historical Landmark the theater was brought back to the original 1931 look with the help of “Friends of the Pomona Fox.” The website for the Friends of the Pomona Fox states that they are “non-profit organization, dedicated to the historic preservation of the Fox and its role as a cornerstone of Pomona’s Downtown.” The organization also raises money for educational programs and community-based programming. After about 10 million dollars and a great amount of restoration the Fox opened its doors on April 18, 2009 for the “Fox First Night.” Since its opening it has continued to entertain theater goers and is once again a jewel in downtown Pomona.


    Bruce Emerton (Architecture Librarian at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Library)


    Arrived in no particular order.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains flyers, a program, newspaper, DVD, magazine and reprinted newspaper and booklet related to the reopening events for the new Pomona Fox Theater.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fox Theater (Pomona, Calif.)
    Pomona Fox Theater
    Pomona, Calif.