Fox drive-thru

The Fox Theater, seen here in August, is celebrating 90 years on Thursday with a drive-thru celebration.

In a year filled with drive-thru birthday celebrations, it's no surprise that the Fox Theater is keeping everyone safe as it celebrates its 90th year Thursday.

From noon to 7 p.m., theater supporters are encouraged to stop by, tour the Walk of Stars outside the theater and celebrate the iconic local theater with Fox staff and board members.

Those who donate on Thursday will receive a free large popcorn, which will be safely sealed to go as a thank you.

The Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater opened on Christmas Day 1930, with the first film shown on its big screen being "Just Imagine," a sci-fi tale set in the future of 1980.

One of the last of its kind built in the Gilded Age style, the 1,500-seat theater was designed by well-regarded Los Angeles architect S. Charles Lee. Advocating the idea that  "the show begins on the sidewalk," his theater designs in the Streamline Moderne style set a standard. The Fox's look is a blend of Spanish Colonial and Art Deco.

The Fox closed in 1977 and remained closed (other than a brief stretch in 1983-84) until June 28, 1994, when The Fox Theater Foundation stepped in. With over 380 “Save The Fox” donors, the nonprofit organization made the down payment and began restoration of the downtown venue.

Since its revival, the theater has hosted a variety of musical acts and performances including Bakersfield Sound legends Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Wynonna Judd, The Moscow Ballet and Gabriel Iglesias.

And celebrations won't conclude with Thursday's event: There are a series of celebrations planned through 2021, including a community call to collect photos, videos and memories of the theater from the past 90 years. For more information, please email