In the late 1920s Fox West Coast Theaters were building “Entertainment Palaces” to support the growing motion picture industry. The Fox Theater in Pomona, California was opened by Fox West Coast Theaters on April 23, 1931. The auditorium seated 1,751 in orchestra and balcony levels. Mann Theater stopped showing regular movies at the Fox Theater in 1976. It then operated as a Spanish-language movie theater, before closing in the late 1980’s. After Spanish movies, it became a concert venue. A 1990’s rave promoter painted over many of the original murals, stripped the theater of most of its elegant fixtures and demolished its 1938 concession counter. After two teenagers died while attending rave parties at the theater in 1999, the city stepped in to close the theater and purchase the building.
As the theater was still in danger, a ‘Save the Fox’ campaign of local citizens banded together. In 2007, local developers who specialize in renovating historic buildings bought the theatre from the city for $1.6 million and spent $10 million to restore the former movie palace. The Fox Theater was totally renovated to be a ‘state of the art’ venue, with a restoration or replication of all historic features such as the tower sign, marquee, murals, and seats. The Fox Theater reopened with an April 18, 2009 gala fundraising dinner and ball, with actress Carol Channing as a special guest and many people appearing in 1930’s outfits. The Fox Theater now hosts concerts, films and other events. The Fox Theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.