July 14, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Historic Venice Theater Turned Indoor Swap Meet Closes Its Doors

The Venue Opened Its Doors as a 1,000-Seat Single-Level Theater in 1951

By Zach Armstrong

Fox Venice, a legendary movie theater situated at 620 Lincoln Blvd that operated in recent years as an indoor swap for local merchants, has halted operations.

It is not immediately clear who owns the property or what their plans are for its future.

The venue opened its doors as a 1,000-seat single-level movie theater on Aug. 17 1951 with a feature from Betty Grable titled “Meet Me After the Show”, according to Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. In attendance were stars such as George Jessel. It took on several different appeals and ownership through the decades. It acted as an Art Deco-style theater that showed standard films until the early-1970’s when it became a popular revival venue, according to Cinema Treasures. It had a brief period as an art film house and a significant venue for first-run foreign films during the 1980s.

According to a Los Angeles Times article archived by Los Angeles Theaters BlogSpot, the theater closed in 1988 after hazardous forms of asbestos were discovered by health inspectors. The space was eventually repurposed as the Fox Discount Store swap meet. 

Various plans for redevelopment have emerged since then, including one project where Trader Joe’s was set to be the main occupant and another proposed by Santa Monica-based Roque & Mark Realtors in 2021 that included converting retail space into outdoor seating and parking while a resulting structure would included 15,822 square feet for commercial use, reported Urbanize LA.

Although rumors circulating on social media speculated that Trader Joe’s is set to take over the property, a spokesperson for the grocery chain told Mirror Media Group in an email that “At this time, we do not have a location confirmed in Venice.”

in Hard, News
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