The Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall (originally the Fox Theatre) in San Diego, California, was designed by Weeks and Day as a Spanish gothic-revival luxury movie theatre. It opened in 1929 as the Fox Theatre and cost $2.5 million to build. It was the third largest theatre in California when it was built.
The Fox closed in 1975 and remained vacant until 1977 when it was purchased by the City and was converted into a live venue. It became the property of the San Diego Symphony in 1984 and was extensively renovated for $6 million at that time. It re-opened in November 1985 as the Copley Symphony Hall. During the eight intervening years, the entire exterior of the original theatre was altered to accommodate a large office block that was built around and above it. The main lobby and ticket hall was totally modernised, keeping elements from the old theatre.
But once inside the auditorium, it still exists in the style and decor it had when it first opened in 1929. Great care has been taken to preserve much of the original look of the lobbies and performance chamber. The interior decoration and color scheme is exactly the same as it was when it first opened. The company that painted it in 1929 was still in existence in 1985, and they were rehired to come back in and re-install their original color scheme. The restoration of the auditorium was meticulous, and nothing has been removed. It is a magnificent theatre, which has its original Robert Morton theatre organ – fully operational.
Today, Copley Symphony Hall is the home of the San Diego Symphony. It is a multi-functional facility that can host concerts, comedy shows, corporate & civic events, film screenings and more inside the performance hall. It is equipped with state-of-the-art digital sound and lighting technology and normally seats up to 2231, with possible front row expansions accommodating 39 more. Embedded inside the performance chamber are a full-sized Robert Morton pneumatic pipe organ and two carbon-arc film projectors.
Fox Theatre Interior, San Diego
Original foyer of the San Diego Fox Theatre
Copley Symphony Hall
1245 Seventh Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
- Opened: 1929
- Architect: William Day, W Templeton Johnson
- Current Seating: 2878
- Location: 1245 Seventh Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
- Box Office:
- Website: http://www.sandiegosymphony.com/