Alex Theater Celebrates 91 Years

The courtyard in front of the Alex Theatre was full of people Sunday night. The angels who have donated to the Alex Theatre made up most of the attendees. Coincidentally, the suggested attire to wear was all white, so if heaven were on earth for just a few hours, it would’ve been there. With the song “Two Lovers” by Mary Wells playing in the background, the mood was set for all those who attended. People tapped their feet to the beat and nodded their heads as they glanced at the scenery.
The theatre, located at 216 N Brand Blvd. is a Glendale landmark, cemented in history for almost 100 years.  On Sept. 4 the Alex Theatre turned 91.
There were bars and food stands where beer, wine, turkey sandwiches, sushi and salads were served. All the special refreshments were provided granted by Glendale Arts, a non-profit organization.
“Any improvements come from Glendale Arts. Glendale Arts pays to keep it [the theater] maintained the way it should be,” Nina Crowe, director of fund development and community partnerships said.
In 1925 it was opened to the public, and for years, up until the 1980s, it played Hollywood classics and some films that we may never hear of. The Alex Theatre has been around since long before the Second World War. Imagine it back in the day, the grand opening was playing black and white silent films. Black and white silent films. To millennials that’s like answering a phone that’s connected to the wall and spinning a dial.
“The last quarter of our last fiscal year was the busiest that the theatre has been since 2008. We were booked 225 days a year, so we’re an extremely busy theatre,” Crowe said. “For instance we have a great show with Robby Krieger.” That show will be on Sept. 16 at 8pm.
Krieger is the iconic guitarist from the legendary band, The Doors.
The theatre stands 100 feet tall and during the 1920s through the ‘50s it would’ve been one of the tallest theaters in the area. It definitely would have caught some attention. Imagine driving up Brand Boulevard, coming from Atwater Village, without seeing any of the major export car dealers such as Toyota or Nissan and seeing only American muscle like Ford and Chevy; that’s like seeing the real Americana.
The theatre continues to find ways to stay relevant— competing with the revolutionary technology that is adapted into the newer venues and theatres.
Elissa Glickman, CEO of Glendale Arts, understands the importance of staying up to date and networking with local businesses.
“Glendale Arts partners with local businesses in the area that realize and understand that their patrons are their customers,” Glickman said. “Glendale Arts is looking for funding for visual projection equipment in order to stay competitive.
We’ve changed as much as we can to make things more energy efficient.”
The Alex Theatre turns 100 years old in 2025 and if Glendale Arts made this year’s event an unforgettable one, that will be amazing. College students will go on to graduate, younger siblings will have matriculated from their schools and the theatre  will continue to stand as one of Glendale’s most precious and iconic landmarks.
Future attendees may still hear about Mary Wells’ two lovers that she loves just the same and how she ain’t ashamed about it.
Students may purchase tickets to Robby Krieger’s show  for $10 at the Alex Theatre. Tickets are available at GCC’s box office at the main stage auditorium ranging from $50 to $100, depending on the show price.. Students are also able to do so inversely at the Alex Theatre according to Crowe. Through” Sept. 16 at 8pm