Fox Theatre

837 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205

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Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments

DMarsh on April 27, 2024 at 8:29 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

MSC77 on November 15, 2021 at 7:12 pm

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

DavidZornig on April 1, 2017 at 7:16 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.

DavidZornig on March 31, 2017 at 9:46 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 15, 2016 at 7:50 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 February 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

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

chspringer on February 15, 2016 at 6:53 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 6:43 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?

nansiw on July 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

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….

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 2:25 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.

kabuking on March 24, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Corporatism killed it and now there’s a hideous and soul-dead sky scraper there.

paulnelson on February 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I remember riding down the street across from these glorious old theatres in the 50’s and the Fox marquee outdid them all. Art deco and colorful. Only the Paramount still exists but was renamed. It is similar to Seattle’s Paramount. That theatre still exists too and has been restored. Home to lavish stage productions with a larger stage.

rivest266 on August 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

September 27th, 1929 reopening ad as Rialto and August 12th, 1954 Fox opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

JohnMessick on May 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Now that is a great looking marquee.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

And I thought I was getting pretty good at reading these fuzzy marquees. Good call William!

William on November 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Looks like “Robin and the 7 Hoods” is coming soon on the Fox’s marquee.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

From 1963 a photo postcard view of the Fox Theatre along with the Paramount in Portland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

Information about this theater is given in the Historic Note section near the top of this web page, which contains the finding aid for the Heilig Theatre Photographs Collection, held at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library in Portland (none of the photos are on display at this page, unfortunately.)

The Historic Note says that this Heilig Theatre, the second of the name in Portland, opened on October 10, 1910. It was designed by architect Edwin W. Houghton. The Heilig operated primarily as a stage and vaudeville house until 1929, when it reopened as a movie house called the Hippodrome. During the 1930s it underwent three more name changes, operating as the Rialto, the Music Box, and finally the Mayfair. The house was purchased by Evergreen Theatres in 1953 and, after being extensively remodeled, reopened as the Fox Theatre in August, 1954.

As can be seen in the fourth photo on this page (this is the same link posted above by strawberry in a comment of July, 2007), the name Hippodrome was on the street-spanning sign in front of what is unmistakably the Heilig Theatre building, and the house also had a vertical sign proclaiming it the Hip.

A June, 1912, Architectural Record article about Portland architecture features this photo of the Heilig Theatre. The caption also identifies the original architect of the Heilig as E. W. Houghton. I’ve been unable to discover who designed the theater’s 1954 remodeling into the Fox.

erikljohnson on April 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I’m searching for some information about a Vaudeville show that may have performed at the theatre in the late 1920’s somewhere between 1927-1929. The show was called “Jungleland” which was a traveling contortionist show. If anyone could help out, that would be great.

chspringer on August 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm

For the postings above concerning the name Hippodrome, this was never a name for the Fox. The theater opened as the Heilig, renamed the Rialto in 1929 when Paramount/Pubix took control, then a couple years later under still new management it was renamed the Mayfair. Finally it became the Fox. A block north, the theater best known as the Orpheum used the Hippodrome name for a short time around 1916.

KJB2012 on July 15, 2009 at 10:57 am

I must disagree. Newspapers are the first draft of history. Whilst not all the stories are acurate, neither are the fading memories of someone who worked there 30 or 40 years ago.
I would also say that the price of admish in a given time frame is VERY much part of the history of the theatre.
Instead of wanting people to censor what they post, I say post it. Only by publishing it can we decide how important it might or might not be.

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm

This was in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin on May 21, 1952:

PORTLAND, (AP) â€" Fire from a waste basket in a janitor’s supply room halted the movie at the Mayfair theater Tuesday night. When the door to the room was opened the fire blazed up and although firemen appeared quickly and put out the blaze, smoke filled the theater and the program was not resumed. Firemen estimated damage at $750.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on November 4, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Salt Lake City’s (still open) CAPITOL THEATRE once had a huge sign across the street.

AdoraKiaOra on September 23, 2007 at 4:06 am

I love that idea of the theatre name strewn right across the street from building to building- ive never seen that before.