Fox Uptown Theatre

1008 S. Western Ave. @ Olympic  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90006

Opened:  December 29, 1925 with Norma Talmadge's "Graustark" as the initial feature. The stage show featured Charlie Nelson and his Playboys. When the theatre opened it was advertised as at 10th and Western. West 10th was later renamed Olympic Blvd. to promote the 1932 Olympic Games.

A pre-opening ad from the L.A. Times.
full size view

The December 29, 1925 L.A. Times ad.

Thanks to Noir City Dame for digging out the ads.
She featured these and various Uptown photos
on her Noirish Los Angeles post #33919.

The theatre was initially operated by West Coast Theatres, which soon after became Fox West Coast. In the 1929 city directory it's listed as the West Coast Uptown. The location, five blocks south of Wilshire, later put the Uptown into competition with the Warner Bros. house at Wilshire and Western, the Wiltern. 

The area southeast of Wilshire and Western was once an 80 acre ranch owned by the Pellissier family. When they subdivided the property for housing, they dubbed the area "Uptown."  The family, and their realtor Henry de Roulet, later were involved in building the Wiltern.

Architect:  Lewis A. Smith. See our blogspot posts for more theatres designed by the prolific Mr. Smith -- he did a lot of Fox West Coast projects.

Seating:  Estimates vary from 1,600 to 1,715.

Status:  Last operated by National General Corporation. It was demolished in the mid-60s. The site was redeveloped for a Ralph's market.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Fox Uptown Theatre for everything that is known about the building.  The architect also did a lot of other designs for West Coast Theatres. See the Cinema Treasures list of other projects by L.A. Smith.

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    Photos of Los Angeles

A look at the Uptown in 1958 posted by
Ken McIntyre on his Photos of Los Angeles
Facebook page. 
full size view

It's from the collection of Jeff Bridges (aka Vokoban). He's
got it in his Flickr collection. The photo also appears as
a post by Stephen Russo on Vintage Los Angeles.

    UCLA Daily News Collection

We're at Christy's Drive-In at 10th (later renamed Olympic)
& Western in 1937. In the window we see the reflection of
the Uptown vertical. It's a Daily News photo.
full size view |
on the UCLA site

An August 1937 Daily News photo of a carhop
at Christy's gives us a view of the uptown in the
background. They're running "New Faces
of 1937" and "They Gave Him a Gun."

Thanks to Noir City Dame for spotting the
photos in the UCLA collection. She has them
on her Noirish Los Angeles post #33916.

    USC Archives

A view c.1926 looking north on Western Ave.
 from Pico. The Uptown is in the distance
 on the east side of Western.
 full size view

Looking east on Olympic Blvd (S.R. 173) in 1940.
It's a photo from the Automobile Club of
Southern California collection.
full size view

     L.A. Public Library Photo Collection

A facade view with the theatre running "Hands Up,"
a Civil War drama released in January 1926.
full size view

A 1926 look at the Uptown's facade set for a
premiere of "Across The Pacific" with Monte Blue.
full size view

A 1942 view of the corner of the Fox Uptown
 Theatre building from the LAPL collection. 
The theatre is running "Tortilla Flat" with
Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr.

 full size view

Another 1942 look at the exterior.
full size view

A 1952 view of the marquee.
full size view

Also see:
  | wider marquee view - "Viva Zapata" |

A 1964 view after the closing. 
full size view

A 1942 photo of the lobby at the Fox Uptown.
  full size view

A 1942 view of the proscenium.
 full size view

A look at the house left organ grille area.
 full size view

A sidewall view from the front of the
 main floor in 1942. full size view

Looking toward the rear of the house,
again a 1942 view.  full size view

Also in the Library's collection:
 | L.A. Smith - rendering - exterior  |
 | rendering - proscenium  |