The T & D Theatre opened in November 1921 and was designed by Albert W. Cornelius. He also designed the California Theatre in Pittsburg, California and the California Theatre in Richmond, California. Though different, all three theatres had very similar Grecian facades.
It was sold to the Fox West Coast Theatres Chain in 1930, being renamed Fox California Theater and remodeled by architect Alexander A. Cantin in 1935, and was used for movie attractions for a number of years. The theatre underwent extensive remodeling in the interior and auditorium area which was re-done in the Skouras style indentified with many Fox Movie houses. The design was done by architect Carl G. Moeller and reopened in 1949. The Salinas facade still exists, but was covered over in the remodel of the theatre. Newspaper photos clearly show the columns arched windows and statues being covered over by the "new" chevron design.
“In the late-1930’s through the 1950’s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Modern meets Streamlined.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale.”
The Theater was purchased by the Martin Family and opened Christmas day 1975. They ran the Theater for many years showing movies, plays and rare special Live entertainment concerts. In 2007, knowing the theater would be in good hands, they sold it to Anthony Lane-Cotroneo. With the help of Former Mayor Anna Caballero and City Manager David Mora the theater was then renovated to its present state. The first floor has been built into three tiers and a stage. The entire first floor can be row seating for sit down concerts or banquet style seating. In The Balcony level, the old theater style seats have been completely replaced with new modern Theater seats. The entire inside of the theater has been completely repainted. Dual bars have been added upstairs and designed to match the Art Deco plaster and decor of the original sections. Many other areas in the theater have been restored keeping true to the original decor. The Theater reopened in May of 2007. The opening act was none other than the Lane’s dear friend and nationally famous, California – native comedian George Lopez. Today the Theater hosts banquets, proms, weddings, plays, comedy shows, conventions and with the help of friend David Drew (David Drew Productions) the theater brings in Major touring super stars. The Fox Theater Salinas has contributed a great deal to the revitalization of the night life and entertainment in the city.