Fox Theater, Salinas

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While visiting the National Steinbeck Center in downtown Salinas, I spotted a Fox Theater a block away. Ah, a Fox.

Its website says it was built in 1921. It’s currently used for concerts, weddings and other events. It’s smaller than Pomona’s, but older, and that vertical sign is great. Check out the ticket booth at left.

Salinas has a surprisingly functional business district. Most of the activity is seemingly centered on three blocks of Main Street, dead-ending at the Steinbeck center, and the cross streets. Plenty of older architecture, with a few modern facades here and there.

Because of the Fox, I couldn’t help weighing this downtown against Pomona’s. I hate to say it, but Pomona’s downtown is so pockmarked with parking lots where buildings used to be that it will take a lot of investment to bring downtown only to Salinas’ level. That said, Salinas’ level is higher than I’d have expected before visiting.

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  • Bob House

    Great road trip and nice photos. Another jealous-making DA excellent adventure. Nice website here with list of 282 original Fox Theaters in the U.S. — photos of some, brief histories for all.

    [Wait’ll you see the vacation food photos I’ll be posting next week. — DA]

  • A. S. ASHLEY

    Ouch! That hurt!

  • shirley wofford

    The facade of this old theater looks like a dream for nostalgia buffs. The citizens of Salinas evidently know how desirable it is to preserve historic buildings like this, so that the current youth of the town can see how things were, and the oldsters can look back and remember when life moved at a much simpler pace.

    When I visit my hometown in another state, I have to look at a flat theater sign lit with one flourescent tube, while I remember the fabulous, flashing, neon marquee of that theater where I saw a weekly movie, when I was young. They have a wonderful pioneer museum in my hometown, but they do not know what happened to the previous theater marquee, even though its picture is in a book there, telling the history of our valley. How sad that no one took action to preserve it.

  • Dwain Kaiser


    There is nothing to be done about the buildings gone from downtown Pomona except to make sure we don’t lose any more.

    We still need to protect the Vault and get it back into use.

    Dwain Kaiser
    Magic Door IV –
    Quality Used Books
    In the Heart of the Art Colony

    [I’m worried about that one too. — DA]