The Fox Theatre Foundation

A nonprofit organization

4 donors

The Fox Theater Foundation:

The Fox Theater Foundation is a non-profit organization that relies on the public for donations to support the mission and vision of this historic building.

Vision Statement:

The Fox Theater will become the heart of the Downtown Bakersfield Cultural District.


The Bakersfield Fox Theater was constructed in 1930 for Fox West Coast Theaters. Designed by S. Charles Lee, it was built as both a performing arts theater as well as a movie theater as movies were still in their infancy. The Bakersfield Fox was originally built with an atmospheric Mediterranean interior featuring 1575 seats. It was and still is one of the most striking and beautiful theaters of its type constructed. In 1953 in an effort to modernize the Fox and to invite people back into theaters lost to the new public fascination with television, Fox West Coast hired the renowned designer Charles Skouras to create a new identity for the Fox. This is the Fox we all enjoy today with its opulent Art Deco interior. From the ornate ceiling murals in the lobby and mezzanine to the breath taking gold leaf plumes and acoustic cloud in the auditorium, all surrounded by a blue atmospheric ceiling with its twinkling stars. Another aspect of this Art Deco experience is the one of a kind neon marquee with it’s hundreds of feet of flashing neon tubes inviting people in from the streets into the Art Deco splendor. The Fox continued to prosper until the early 1970’s. At that time it was being operated by Mann Theaters. In the early 1970’s the first multiplex theater opened in Bakersfield offering six screens of entertainment. This, plus the decline overall of the downtown area, led to the closing of the      Fox in 1979. There was some discussion of splitting the theater up into five theaters but that was not a        good financial risk for Mann to take. The Fox was put up for sale in 1980 and stayed that way until 1994. It is ironic that this first multiplex theater that led to the demise of the Fox closed and was demolished this several years ago, yet the Fox has endured.


The Fox Foundation:

The Fox Theater Foundation was formed in 1990 with the mission to purchase, restore and operate the Fox Theater for the benefit of the people of Bakersfield. The Foundation is made up of 20 directors ranging from trades people, community leaders, business people and community volunteers just to name a few. At that time the purchase price was over one million dollars, a ridiculous price for property in the downtown area at that time. In June 1994 the owners of the now long abandoned Fox, under pressure to either improve the Fox or tear it down offered to sell the Fox at a reduced price to the Fox Foundation. After a daylong negotiating session it was agreed that the owners would sell the Fox for the price of five hundred thousand dollars. They would carry the note with one hundred thousand dollars down. The Fox Theater Foundation at that time launched a huge grass roots “Save The Fox” campaign. This resulted in raising the necessary money in just over four weeks. This was accomplished in amounts from one dollar on up. The people of Bakersfield wanted their Fox back and they came through. Escrow closed in late June 1994.



Organization Data


Organization name

The Fox Theatre Foundation

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture


2001 H ST