AKA: Fox West Coast Theatres Corporation, Fox Riverside Theater, Riverside, CA; Fox Riverside Theater, Riverside, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Balch and Stanbery, Architect and Engineer (firm); Smith, L.A., Architect (firm); Clifford A. Balch (architect); Lewis Arthur Smith (architect); Floyd Edgar Stanbery (structural engineer)

Dates: constructed 1928-1929

2 stories

3801 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501-3217

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The firm of Balch and Stanbery worked with architect L.A. Smith (1869-1958) on the Spanish Colonial design of the Fox Riverside. It occupied a prominent Downtown Riverside location, on the northwest corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Market Street. The corner was marked by a tower with two tile-roofed cupolas. Like an Early California mission, the theatre featured arched colonnades on both street facades that sheltered passing shoppers from the sun. The 1,900-seat cinema opened 06/11/1929, operated by the West Coast Theatres chain, founded in 1920 by filmmaker Sol Lesser (1890-1980), Abe Gore, Mike Gore and building contractor Adolph Ramish (1862-1944). One year later, West Coast Theatres merged with the film exhibition chain run by the Hungarian-born William Fox (1879-1952), to form the "Fox West Coast Theatres Corporation." The Skouras Brothers bought the Fox Riverside in 1932, when William Fox experienced financial problems. It subsequently became part of the National Theaters group. Pomona resident, H.J. "Joe" Zivnak, purchased the vacant theatre in 03/2001 for $1.4 million, and claimed to have spent $600,000 on improvements; the City of Riverside voted in late 2004 to seize the theatre through eminent domain, and reimburse Zivnak, $1.667 million dollars; the Fox Riverside is Riverside Cultural Heritage Landmark #39.

The first sneak preview of the movie "Gone with the Wind" was held at the Fox Riverside Theatre. Balch and Stanbery, a prolific Southern CA movie theatre architecture/engineering firm, designed the Fox Riverside in the Mission Revival Style, harmonizing with the city's most prominent building, the Mission Inn.

California Historical Landmark: 39

Riverside Cultural Heritage Landmark: 39

PCAD id: 3594