Wednesday column preview

I got a tour of the Fox Theater in Pomona on Monday to see the renovation in progress, two months before the opening. It’s pretty awesome, even with a lot of work left to go.

Since I’m a guy who loves old theaters, movies, music and downtown Pomona, the Fox provides no shortage of interest. Besides, there’s a lot of history and sentiment behind the Fox’s return. It may end up as the Inland Valley’s most exciting development of 2009.

I expect to be writing considerably more about the Fox in coming weeks. In the meantime, Wednesday’s column offers a sneak peek.

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  • Bob House

    Nice column on a great project. I hope it works out well for all those behind it and for Pomona as well. Glad to hear they are restoring the original look. It’s hard to believe that it was a 2000-seat theater — I recall it as being nearly full for movies in the ’50s and ’60s. I saw more movies in the long-gone Village theater in downtown Claremont (walking distance from home), but it wasn’t the “THEATER” experience of going to the Fox.

    [The Fox was 1,700 seats, including the balcony. The new Fox will have room for 2,000, or slightly more, because of standing areas for concerts. -- DA]

  • Ramona

    For sentimental reasons I’m very glad the Fox is being restored.

    As a kid my chums and I would walk (!) to the Fox for a Saturday matine which included 2 movies, a cartoon and a newsreel. This started when I was in elementary school and continued until I entered high school. Yes, folks. Little kids walked around town at age 8 or 9. By themselves with no adult supervision. The kids who lived too far away to walk were brought and picked up by parents, but we were on our own inside the theater and downtown afterwards. Good times!

    In the late ’50s, as a young adult, I attended the premiere of a movie starring Broderick Crawford. Don’t remember the title and IMDB didn’t bring any “aha!” moments, He attended the opening and I remember having a conversation with him. He commented on the charm of Pomona and about how fortunate I was to live there. Incredibly, at the end of the conversation he gave me a hug. Not quite in character with the crusty parts he was known for playing.

    I’ve contemplated checking out the Fox once the renovations are complete but I probably won’t do it.

    My good memories are intact and one can’t go home again.

    [Thanks for sharing the Broderick Crawford story, Ramona. -- DA]

  • JW

    I have so many great memories of the Fox from the ’60s.My summer afternoons often centered around the Fox Theater (and the nearby United Artists Theater). My friend George’s father, Bill(?) Rose, managed the Fox back then.

    As an aside, George Rose later became an well-known author and photographer, getting his start at at the Progress Bulletin, Claremont Courier and LA Times. George’s website:
    http://www.georgerose.com/WORDS/INDEX.HTML

    I haven’t spoken with George in decades and am not sure George even knows of the theater’s revival but I would imagine he would be pleased and have many Fox stories to share.