The Alex Theatre is Glendale's premier theatre and performance venue. It has been a hub of artistic and economic activity for downtown Glendale since its opening in 1925.
The Alexander was named for the son of its owner, C. L. Langley, who owned West Coast Theatres. The company later became Fox West Coast Theatres, the dominant theatre chain across Southern California from the late 1920s through the 1950s. The Alexander Theatre was a favorite of the studios for showing sneak previews of their major releases.
Although originally designed by architects Lindley & Selkirk in a Classical Revival style with an entry forecourt, in 1940, the theatre façade was remodeled into a spectacular Moderne edifice by noted theatre architect S. Charles Lee, and was renamed the Alex. Under Lee’s remodeling, a larger, detached box office, large tower, and large horizontal, trapezoidal marquee were created; these remain today, dominating much of Brand Boulevard and Glendale’s downtown.
The theatre interior originally seated 2,030 and features a lovely decorated proscenium, ceiling, and walls. Its original décor remains largely intact, although after a 1993 rehabilitation project, the overall seating capacity was reduced to 1,400.
Currently, the theatre is a busy performing arts center featuring live performance and film screenings, including classic Hollywood motion pictures screened by the nonprofit Alex Film Society.