Constructed by prominent local businessman C. Stanley Chapman (the son of Fullerton’s first mayor, Charles C. Chapman), this building was designed as a combination vaudeville/silent movie house flanked by a one-story retail wing and a two-story café. The original lines of this building are now obscured by the many later renovations and additions, including the subsequent construction of the building at the northeast corner of Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue.
The brick and concrete building was designed by the notable theater architects, Meyer and Holler, Inc., an influential firm noted for its opulent commercial and theatrical structures, one being the Grumman Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Central to the design is the recessed entry courtyard, which provided the theatre with a dramatic approach of forced perspective as well as a space that could be exotically decorated to transpose people to another world. Various features of the Italian Renaissance-inspired design can be seen with relief decoration above the courtyard space.
The facility was named Alician Court Theatre, in honor of Alice, C. S. Chapman’s wife, but as ownership changed over the years so did the theatre’s name. The movie house operated as the Fox Fullerton Theatre starting in 1930, until its closure in 1987.
Other significant features associated with this building include the six painted canvas murals applied to the inside walls of the theatre (subsequently painted over) as well as the “Fox Fullerton” roof top billboard sign, a landmark in its own right. All remain to be restored with a future rehabilitation of the facility.