Fox Pomona

301 S. Garey Ave.    | map

Pomona, CA   91766

(909) 555-1212


Opened: April 24, 1931

This drawing of the Pomona Fox project appeared in
 "What Fashions Decree For '30," a story in the Better Theatres
section of the Motion Picture News issue of August 2, 1930.
Thanks to theatre historian Kurt Wahlner for the find. 
full size view

The new theatre was featured in a photo spread in the August 1, 1931 issue of Motion Picture Herald. Their article "The New Fox Theatre in Pomona, Cal" included 8 photos. It's on Internet Archive. A view toward the rear of the auditorium of what Steel Furniture Company called "A friendly theatre..." was part of an ad for theatre seats in the August 29, 1931 issue of Motion Picture Herald.

Until recently, the Fox used an address on W. 3rd St. It's listed as the the Fox Theatre, 110 W. 3rd, in the 1934 through 1940 city directories and as the Fox Pomona in 1945. The use of a 114 W. 3rd address starts with the 1948 directory.  In the 1951 directory it's again just listed as the Fox Theatre.

The Fox was operated by Fox West Coast and its successor companies National General and, finally, Mann Theatres until 1976. After closing as a mainstream film house, the Fox had a career for several years as a Spanish language film venue, a church, and home for raves and wrestling.

Architects:   Clifford A. Balch, Floyd E. Stanbery of Balch & Stanbery. The firm did many projects for Fox West Coast. Robert E. Power Studios of Los Angeles was the decorator.

See the listings for Balch and Stanbery in the Pacific Coast Architecture Database. A few more theatres by Balch are listed on our Blogspot entries.

Seating: Originally 1,751. Motion Picture Herald gave the capacity in 1931 as 1,738. The main floor was terraced during the 2008-09 renovations and no longer has fixed seating. 

Stage Specifications: Proscenium width: 45'  Stage depth: 20'.  Original curtains and rigging were by Armstrong Studios of Los Angeles.  The original screen ("large enough for magnascopic images") was 28' x 50'.

There's no longer any fly space. The upper half of the stagehouse was converted into a ballroom during the renovation.

Projection: The 1931 equipment included two Super Simplex projectors. Sound was by Western Electric.

Status: Restored in 2008-2009 and now operating as a multi-venue performing arts center.  The City of Pomona had owned the building since 2001. In 2007 it was sold to Gerald Investments (Jerry & Ed Tessier) for $1.6 million. It's now operated by their family development firm, Arteco Partners, that has renovated (and operates) many other downtown Pomona buildings. The renovation cost was slightly more than $10 million.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page for 5 photos plus lots of comments. The Cinema Tour page has over 50 exterior views of the theatre. 

See Friends of the Pomona Fox for more history and news about special events. Also see the Friends of the Fox Facebook page.

Forsight Creations has a nice photo gallery showing their work on light fixtures for the renovation project.  Also see the data on their projects page

The Fox Pomona in 2007.

photo: Bill Counter

The marquee prior to renovation.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

A look at the lobby.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009

[ click on any of these to enlarge ]

A look across the balcony at the Fox Pomona

photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009

    Fox Pomona website 

A 2008 auditorium view -- one of many
photos of the construction that used to be
on the Fox's website.
full size view

A great photo of original plasterwork
uncovered at the entrance. It's another photo that
 has now vanished from the theatre's website.

    L.A. Public Library Collection

A 1931 view of the building for the grand opening
full size view

A c.1950 view of the marquee during a revival run of
 "Gone With The Wind" from the Library's collection.
full size view

A look at the mezzanine level of the lobby in the 40s. 
full size view

Lobby and exit doors in the 40s. 
full size view

The grand stair in the 40s. 
full size view

A look at the house right organ grille area in the 40s.
full size view

A great view of the sidewall murals from the 40s.
 full size view

Looking down on the stage from the top of the balcony. 
There are surround speakers, so it's post-1953.  Also note
that the sidewall murals have been largely painted out.
full size view

More interior views in the Library's collection:
| on lobby mezzanine level  |  auditorium rear  |

More exterior views in the Library's collection:
| 30s- "Coolest Spot in the Valley"  |
 |  1957 marquee view - "Farewell To Arms"    |

    Mark Peacock on Flickr    

A wonderful night view of the restored
signage by Mark Peacock. 
full size view

Also see:
daytime marquee view  |

Check out Mark's Vintage Theatres set
for lots more great work.

    Photos of Los Angeles   

A pre-renovation backstage view from Ken McIntyre.
full size view | on Photos of LA

Also see:
 | 1957 marquee - "Farewell To Arms" |

    Pomona Public Library

A great look at the facade during the
run of "As You Desire Me" (1932). 
full size view

A Frasher Foto Card view looking toward the
Fox Pomoma Theatre in 1933.
full size view

A close look at the marquee. "The Cowboy
And The Lady" dates from 1938.
full size view

A 1952 Frasher card with the caption "Garey Avenue
looking toward the Sierra Madre Mountains." 
full size view

A 1958 look down at the proscenium.
Sorry-- the larger view has gone missing.

A look back toward the rear of the balcony.
The photo is by Nate Singer
 full size view

A view of the organ grille area by Nate Singer. 
full size view

A 1942 look at the lobby by Nate Singer. 
full size view

A 1958 lobby shot by Western Photo Co.
full size view

Also see:
construction - 1930  |  later construction - 1930  |  grand opening - 1931 |
 |  another opening view - distance  |  night view - "Charlie McCarthy Detective"  |
 |  corner view - "The Coolest Spot in the Valley"  |  1934 Frasher card  |
 |  1934 facade view - "Belle of the Nineties"  |  Christmas tree in the lobby  |
 |  Christmas party in lobby  |  1943 street view with servicemen - "Coney Island" |
insulating the attic -- 1946  |  1956 marquee view  - "Alexander The Great"  |
1962 marquee view - "Kiss Them For Me"  |  function in lobby - undated  |

... and lots more Fox Theatre views if you'd
care to search the collection.

The Fox Pomona tower sign.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

A 2009 view of the Fox Pomona

photo: Michelle Gerdes

[ click on any of these to enlarge ]

Don't miss MIchelle's full 34 view Pomona Fox set
on Flickr. In addition to what you see here, the set has nice
detail views of light fixtures and finishes.

A look at the house left side of the auditorium.
Note that the main floor is terraced without fixed seating.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009

A detail of ceiling and side wall
decoration near the proscenium.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009

A detail the plasterwork at the proscenium.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009

about photos from other
websites that appear on this page...

We've tried to give appropriate credit. Please
contact us if there are incorrect attributions, links that
no longer work or other issues. A link near each image will
direct you to a full size version on the website hosting it.
Assume that all the images are subject to copyright
restrictions. Contact the webmaster of the site in
question concerning reproduction or other use.


The Fox Pomona is featured on the cover of the trade
magazine Boxoffice for March 9, 1959 discussing the major
overhaul that many Fox West Coast Theatres got that year.

The caption mentioned "Use of stone trim, replacement of old
wood doors, removal of oldstyle trim and modernization of display
cases helped provide the new look to the front of the theatre."

    Huntington Digital Library

An undated look at the stage from up in
the balcony. It's a Doug White photo taken
 for Southern California Edison Co.
full size view

On the Huntington Library pages you can
use the slider to get a larger image -- then you
can pan around to explore details.

    Los Angeles Theatres

A 1933 view prior to the run of "King Kong"
discovered by John Bengtson.
For a treat, check out John's blog
 Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more).

A shot of the theatre during the run of
 "King Kong" added to our page by Shawn
Dudley.  It's a Burton Frasher photo.
full size view

Thanks to Bill Gabel and Shawn Dudley for identifying
the top photo!  It was a mystery before their help.

    Ken McIntyre on Cinema Treasures    

Ace researcher Ken McIntyre has found this great
1932 view and added it to his Photobucket collection.
full size view | on Photobucket

A look at the theatre in 1943 when it's running
"Coney Island" with Betty Grable.
full size view | on Photobucket

See the comments on the Cinema Treasures
page for links to many more photos, including a
 nice series of exterior views Ken took in 2008.

    Motion Picture Herald

The new theatre at night. Yes, the sign
revolved.The tower has a height of 81' with
the sign adding another 26'.
full size view

The Fox Pomona was featured in a photo spread in the
August 1, 1931 issue of Motion Picture Herald. Their article,
 "The New Fox Theatre in Pomona, Cal," included these
eight photos. It's on Internet Archive.

The lobby's grand staircase.

A look down into the main lobby
 from the grand staircase.
"Mirrors form the dominating decorative note."

The mirror array in the ladies lounge.
 The original restrooms were upstairs.
A balcony lobby wall design.
"A corner of the mezzanine lounge -- the tapestry
and modern wall surfaces suggesting the type of
treatment employed instead of cast plaster."

The lobby at balcony level.

The vista across the pit toward
the design on the house curtain.
"The stage has two primary curtains. The first, down only when
the performance is not actually in progress, is of golden velvet with
 an overlay of gold, green and red trimmed with a fringe.

The second [seen above], disclosed at the beginning of
each phase of the program, is of brown velvet, with an overlay
of gold tones, in the center of which are two figures, one
 representing Music, the other Drama."

A look across the auditorium.

"Balch & Stanberry, of Los Angeles, did not attempt an inferior
show of splendor but chose to let the architecture itself be the building's
own adornment...With the walls themselves (rather than a false wall of
decorative character) forming the background, embellishment is worked
out through a color scheme of delicate red shades, varying from pink
in the wall lights to a dull orange tone in the upholstery.

The walls themselves are done in a tint of ashes of roses,
contrasting with which is paneling in silver. the organ screen is
composed of delicate grille work executed in silver leaf, and this same
 pattern and treatment is continued at the proscenium arch."

 This view toward the rear of what Steel Furniture
Company called "A friendly theatre..." was part of an
ad for their theatre seats in the August 29, 1931
 issue of Motion Picture Herald.

    Roadside Architecture

A nice look up the tower of the Fox Pomona
prior to the renovation.  It's on Mary Jane's
California Theatres - page 5, where there are
several more views as well.
full size view

    Kurt Wahlner

Thanks to Kurt Wahlner for passing along
this c.1931 trade magazine photo of one of the
 lobby's very interesting wall hangings.
 full size view

    Yosoybones on Flickr

A nice detail view of the tower in 2007.
 full size view