Visalia Fox Theatre

308 W. Main Street,
Visalia, CA 93279

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

dansdriveintheater on December 15, 2022 at 7:13 pm

I will be seeing a show here in February so I will definitely get some pics

MichaelGraham on March 10, 2020 at 9:14 am

Here is a nice photo from Facebook.

dansdriveintheater on December 2, 2018 at 1:54 pm

saw the beach boys here in march 2018!

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 1, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Belated reply to Tom DeLay’s question of Aug 8, 2007: The L.A. Library’s California Index contains a card quoting an item in a 1912 edition of The Rounder, which says that motion pictures were doing splendid business at the Bell Theatre in Visalia.

The Index also has a few cards citing 1910s and 1920s articles about plans for construction of theaters in Visalia, but names are not given for any of them, and its not clear which, if any, of these projects were actually completed.

Also, the June 26, 1943, issue of Boxoffice Magazine mentions a Bijou Theatre then operating in Visalia.

An interesting item in the October 7, 1946, issue of Boxoffice is a brief obituary of Okanosake Nakamichi, who it said had operated a theater in Visalia from 1911 until he was relocated to a prison camp in 1942. The name of the theater was not given, but given the prevailing attitude among Californians of that period I would imagine it served only Asian patrons.

mridgway on November 18, 2007 at 9:27 am

In the ‘60s, everyone from Mt. Whitney High School went to the Sequoia Drive-In east of town. The Mooney Drive-In wasn’t considered to be as “cool” as the Sequoia.

tomdelay on August 8, 2007 at 8:36 pm
  1. Theatre Visalia (torn down when the Fox opened)
  2. Fox Theatre
  3. Visalia Theatre (built in the late 1940s or early 1950s)
  4. Drive-In (south Mooney Blvd.)

Are there others?

kencmcintyre on August 8, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Here is an undated photo of the Fox:

jbj on July 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Ken names FOUR theaters of downtown Visalia. Could there have been a FIFTH existing at the same time around 1940 – 1965? In prox ‘48-'49 I worked at the Fox until 10:00 PM, then 'closed’ the one maybe three blocks east on the south side of Main. Which one was that?

jbj on October 27, 2005 at 6:59 pm

Thanks, Joe. These pics were also in the book mentioned above. Now I know the source.

jbj on October 4, 2005 at 9:12 pm

Was in Visalia on 9-24 for the “annual gang of HS classes” picnic at Mooneys Grove. Bought from Ron Burris a 200 page pictorial history book of Visalia from 1850-1950. Very few pix of the theaters, but very entertaining and rewarding. I believe he still has some more. If you did not save your old pictures but knew Visalia for a bunch of years, this is a worthwhile treat.

The Fox is very sharp. It puts on great productions as well as the usual. Many thanks and kudos to the Restoration Committee, Crew, Grunts et al and especially to Mrs. Dresser. Pete Sweeney is at home again as was I, aka Bryce, on dragging Main before looking for the Oval Drivein!!

tomdelay on October 4, 2005 at 8:09 pm

The Visalia Fox has a 4 manual 22 rank composite Wurlitzer donated by Ruth Villemin Dresser. Mrs. Dresser owned this organ for many years in her Malibu, CA home and donated this organ to the Fox a couple years ago. Mrs. Dresser also donated the 2 manual 10 rank composite style 216 Wurlitzer in the nearby Fox Theatre in Hanford, CA.

The 4 manual console in the Visalia Fox is from the 1918 Wurlitzer that was installed in the California Theatre in San Francisco.

jbj on March 30, 2005 at 4:53 pm

See Bijou theater commentary for further discussion re Visalia Theaters other than Fox – Hyde, Bijou, Roxy and Grand

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 26, 2005 at 6:12 am

Actually, (if it works with the browser you are using- I don’t think it’s compatible with all of them), all you need to do is click on the name of the city in the row of links at the top of this page, just under the line; “Discover. Preserve. Protect.”

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 26, 2005 at 2:02 am

Type in ‘Visalia’ in search, highlight the ‘theaters’ button, click on search. The page will come up for some, but then refine your search to ‘cities’ by keeping the name ‘Visalia’ and clicking on cities.. You can also go to Newest Theaters and click on ‘more new theaters’ and you will see the four theatres I just sent in for Visalia.

jbj on March 26, 2005 at 12:17 am

Thanks for the addition(s). But where are they? I have yet to figure out what to navigate through to get to them. Found various other interesting items and spent some time with them, but could not locate my specific current interest – any Visalia, CA Theaters. Although your theaters and others are dramatic, how about some added help. Can you guide me through whatever network to get me there? Thanks in any case.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 25, 2005 at 6:42 am

I have just added all the historic theatres of Visalia.

jbj on March 25, 2005 at 1:31 am

Sure would like to know the names and addresses of ALL the movie theaters on Main Street since 1929. If not the addresses, how about west or east of Center Street and whether on north or south side of Main? Start from the FOX going east.
I am thinking (1) Fox, W, N; (2) Bijou, W, S; (3) Roxy, E, N; (4) Visalia, E, S in that order going east.
Dates in service, specifically for the Bijou and Roxy, assuming those names and order sequencing are correct, would be great also as well as any corrections, confirmations or comments.

edward on March 26, 2004 at 4:24 pm

Amazing theatre and unique interior…and what do you know Michael, it’s home to the Tulare County Symphony…can you believe it!!

GaryParks on March 26, 2004 at 1:33 pm

Although restoration still needs to be done to the decorative paint finishes in some parts of the auditorium, the fact that it has been unplexed really makes this theatre a treat. The Southeast Asian atmospheric style is intact, and the stars twinkle in the plaster sky above. My family and I enjoyed a fine symphonic and choral performance at the Fox in April of 2003, and we’re planning to see another show there next month when we’ll be having another family get-together down there.
It should be noted that a theatre pipe organ has been secured for the Fox, and it shouldn’t be too long before it is sounding-fourth from the Hindu temple organ chambers.

tomdelay on September 26, 2002 at 9:40 pm

I was working in Visalia much of Sept. 16-19, 2002. At night, the neon-lit clock of the FOX is stunning. Unfortunately, the house was between engagements and I did not get to see the auditorium now returned to single status.

Bill H
Bill H on August 19, 2002 at 10:31 pm

The Visalia Fox opened on February 27, 1930. The architects were Balch & Stanberry.