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Historic Fairfax Theatre could be replaced by apartment complex

The Fairfax district could be losing a major landmark.

A developer is proposing replacing the Art Deco-style Fairfax Theatre and the thrift shop next door at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard with a residential complex.

According to Curbed L.A., a developer wants to gut the building and create more than 70 residential units as part of a mixed-use development. The Larchmont Chronicle says the developer would keep the Art Deco facade, but that has not stopped some residents from vowing a fight.

Critics note that the Fairfax is one of the last independent theaters in Los Angeles. Such nonchain cinemas have been hit hard by the recession. “The Fairfax is going to be our flagship to try to save neighborhood theaters,” said Brian Curran, a board member of Hollywood Heritage told the Chronicle. 

A group, Friends of the Fairfax Theatre, has created a Facebook page to fight the closure. "The Fairfax now faces a threat to its existence by developers. Being one of the last few remaining neighborhood movie houses left in L.A., let alone the country as a whole, it needs to be preserved. Please join us as we save this Fairfax District institution," the group says.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo credit: L.A. Public Library

Comments () | Archives (7)

If people aren't supporting it, then it should go. That's life in the big city.

If the people fighting the progress in this city were as vocal DURING the time this theater & retails establishments have become blighted over the last 20 years, rather than once a developer announces their intentions to raze it, then it might not have been done.

The Fairfax theater is outdated, and the Bargain Fair is a massive eyesore. I agree the art deco architecture is nice and if possible should be maintained, but if not it's no big deal. This isn't as historic a location as others that were stupidly torn down (like Carthay Circle Theater).

So speak up and patronize places you deem significant WHILE they're still in business and then there might not be the economic necessity to maximize profits with something else.

I sure hope this plan doesn't go through...too much of our history has been demolished as it is!

The City needs to pay attention...these landmarks are what bring in the visitors from out of town...they want to see the OLD HOLLYWOOD...not a bunch of "mixed use" buildings!


Who would want to live on the corner of Fairfax and Beverly Blvd? It would be nice to keep the theatre but it's very run down and has been for years as well as the rest of the building. Perhaps we can have our cake and eat it too. Refurbish the theatre and make it live theatre as well, something the city has lost and put in new resturants replacing the groundfloor businsses. Above the theatre build new floors for housing. Could look completely modern in contract to Deco. Could be cool. We could then perserve history and make it more functional and have new living and foot-traffic as well. But big note, parking, major parking is a must. No one wants to go to this area because it's a pain or impossible to park.

I had another thought so I came back. It’s too bad this theatre could not be to CBS what the El Capitan is to Disney. If the theatre was modified to do small live shows in addition to movies CBS, who isn’t going anywhere, could have a vehicle to do more show (live, not televised or televised, internet) during the day, extra promotion, and then do movies and other acts at night. All sorts of talk shows, easy-in other acts, and live speakers (the President of CBS in the direction of media) could be held making it multi-functional as wll with an ongoing relationship with a Hollywood rock, CBS. Upstairs could be small boutique hotel housing guests of the shows and some living. Could be a nice tie-in for CBS.

Sad, but I suppose these things have to happen. I was living near the Ambassador when that was torn down and hated to see it go. But it really was just sitting there. It wasn't like the public had access to it.

I do happen to live in the neighborhood and am a frequent customer at Bargain Fair, which is *not* a thrift store or second-hand store but rather a retail restaurant supply store...my favorite source for all my cookware and kitchen needs.

I suppose it's being called an "eyesore" just because it doesn't look like suburbia, doesn't look like something out of Orange County?

Well as far as I'm concerned, this is just another grab by greedy land speculators to destroy still more of our urban heritage and deprive ordinary people of affordable places to shop, all for no other purpose than to turn a fast buck building more upscale-looking disposable buildings that they'll turn around and tear down again in another decade or two.


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