A confluence of Moorish and Gothic architectural influences, what’s now Redwood City’s historic Fox Theatre opened its doors on January 2, 1929. Ellis John Arkursh, a civil engineer from Chicago who moved west to work on the Panama-Pacific Exposition, articulated his vision in the structure’s majestic design. Originally called the New Sequoia Theater, the venue offered an elegant setting for viewing motion pictures, further enhanced by a stately pipe organ and a projected display of clouds and stars on the ceiling.
After being purchased by the Fox West Coast chain, the theater continued to welcome movie patrons until 1950, when a partial ceiling collapse forced a closure to make repairs. Reopened with great fanfare four months later, the renamed Fox Theatre expanded into live performances, with artists like Etta James, BB King, Neil Young and Melissa Etheridge making appearances over the years. Inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, the live entertainment and rental venue now consists of Fox Theatre and Club Fox immediately next door. Acquired by new owners in 2017, the property maintains its starring role as a downtown Redwood City hub for public and private events.
Photography: Robb Most / Historic Photography: Courtesy Archives Committee Local History Room