Fox Theatre

837 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Act III Theatres, Evergreen State Amusement Corp., Fox Circuit, Paramount-Publix

Architects: Edwin Walker Houghton, Carl G. Moeller

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Heilig Theatre, Hippodrome Theatre, Rialto Theatre, Music Box Theatre, Mayfair Theatre

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News About This Theater

Fox Theatre exterior

Originally opened in 1910 as the Heilig Theatre, a live theatre, designed by architect Edwin W. Houghton. It went through may owners and name changes over the years. In 1913 it began screening movies. In 1919 it was renamed Hippodrome Theatre. In 1929 it became the Rialto Theatre. This was short lived as in 1930 it became the Mayfair Theatre.

From 1940 it operated as the Fox Theatre. In early-1954 and was gutted internally and was remodeled to the plans of architect Carl G. Moeller to reopen on July 29, 1954. This gorgeous Art Deco style movie palace had a freestanding ticket booth. Like so many others, it has been demolished.

The Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10 was built on the site (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures)

Contributed by Louise-Annette Burgess

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Fox. With a reserved-seat run of 116 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?) It was one of ten runs in the United States and at least 24 globally that ran the movie continuously into a third year.

nansiw on July 30, 2015 at 1:43 am

I just acquired a Cash Box/Ticket dispenser marked Nelson & Son Mayfair Theatre Bldg. Portland, Oregon w/ Patent #. Trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve been researching for any Portland theatre historical societies with not much luck….

DavidZornig on February 15, 2016 at 8:43 pm

1974 photo added via Kevin-Michael Moore‎. The Music Box Theatre to the right of the Fox, is neither the former Liberty Theater nor the other Music Box listed in Portland on CT. Any ideas of what it’s former name might have been, so I can post the photo on that page too?

chspringer on February 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Dave, The theater next to the Fox was built in 1959 and opened with the roadshow of Ben Hur. It was named the Music Box from the get go.

DavidZornig on February 15, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Thanks. Apparently it does not have it’s own CT page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 15, 2016 at 9:50 pm

I had notes for the sixth (and final) Music Box Theatre in Portland and intended to submit it ages ago, but must have overlooked it. Now the notes have gone missing. What I can gather quickly is that it was built into an existing building, its formal opening was on January 20, 1960, with 628 seats (later reduced to 611, probably to fulfill ADA requirements,) it was equipped with DP70 projectors, it closed before 1991, and was demolished in 1997, along with the rest of the block, for the Fox Tower project.

DavidZornig on March 31, 2017 at 11:46 pm

I’ve submitted a CT page for the Music Box Theatre next door to the Fox, including Joe Vogel’s information above. As well as additional info I found in a PDF, which I will add with photos once the page is up. For the record it was built in 1924 as the Broadhill Building, and remodeled in 1959 into the Music Box.

DavidZornig on April 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

Below is a link to the new page for the Music Box Theatre. It includes a pdf link that must be copied & pasted to access and open, that has the full history of the building from the Historic Resource Inventory of Portland. Also below is a PDX History link that has photos of most Portland theatres.

MSC77 on November 15, 2021 at 9:12 pm

When did Portland’s Fox close? What was the last movie to play?

DMarsh on April 27, 2024 at 10:29 pm

Based on many sources, here is a timeline for the names given to this theater over the years: 1910: Heilig 1913: Earliest known exhibition of motion pictures 1919: Hippodrome 1929: Rialto 1930: Mayfair 1954: Fox 1990: Final year of film exhibition 1997: Demolished

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