The Fox Oakland Theater is a historic theater in the Uptown neighborhood. Built in 1928 as the Oakland Theatre, the fanciful “Brahmanian Temple” movie palace had a seating capacity of 3,335 and was one of the largest theaters on the West Coast. Officially credited as having been designed by the San Francisco architecture firm of Weeks and Day, the Fox was actually designed and built by Oakland architect Maury I. Diggs. The style was a hybrid of Indian, Moorish, and Medieval elements. A Wurlitzer organ and a theatre orchestra provided live music as part of feature programs. The sign was by the Electrical Products Corporation. 1
More than 20,000 people turned out for the grand opening in October 1928 after the the theater management bought the entire Key System line for an hour which allowed movie customers to ride for free.
After closing in 1973, the theater reopened in 2009 following extensive renovations.
On March 28, 1978, the Fox Oakland Theater and Building (1807 - 1829 Telegraph Avenue) were designated Oakland Landmark #23, under Zoning Case #LM 78-36, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Fox Theater was the recipient of the East Bay Express Music Venue Readers' Poll Award in 2014 and 2015.
Supposedly the theater was originally going to be called The Bagdad Theater, but the name was changed to the West Coast Oakland Theater at the request of mayor John L. Davie. 2
1807 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
For the 1928 opening they had a 3 page spread in the Tribune. 1
Links and References
- The Fox Oakland official website
- Promotional video about the history of the theater created by the Oakland Redevelopment Agency
- New Oakland Theater Opens At Noon Tomorrow Oakland Tribune October 26, 1928 (p2, p3)
- The Forum (letters to the editor) Oakland Tribune November 16, 1927
- ohrphoto.oaktheaters.020 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library