Built in 1911, the Empress Theatre was a large 1,000 seat, two-tiered theater with gold-leafed clouds on the ceiling, red velvet seats and a pipe organ. It has been remodeled several times over the years and has been known as the Republic, Vallejo, Senator and Crest names before being renamed the Empress Theatre in 1978 when it was purchased by William Elliott. The theater closed sometime around 1989 for seismic retrofitting, etc. and never reopened.
The Empress Theatre was later purchased by Robert Litwin and Mel Gomez, then restored and reopened.
Previously operated by:
This theatre was the #world
This was also the first #prototype
for Fox Theatres and opened January 23, 1947.
was looking for an easier way to make theaters fast and #cheaper
after the #war
Theatre had a main floor of seats, then an early form of stadium seating in the rear (like later Fox houses such as the Fox Loyola Theatre).
The opening manager’s name was Harry Francis, who would go on to manage many other Fox and Mann Theatres till the mid-1990’s.
Harry managed the Crest Theatre for a long time. He also managed the Fox Village Theatre in Westwood, and opened the nearby National Theatre. His last theater was the Bruin Theatre.
He worked for over 50 years in #theater
#vallejo #virginiastreet #downtown