Simeon Charles Lee, Streamline Moderne Theaters, The Fremont Theater, The Tower Theater

The Fremont Theater of San Luis Obispo

The Fremont Theater was built in 1942, before the United States entered World War II, in San Luis Obispo. The structure is similar to the Fox Theater in Oakland and the California Theater of San Jose, as they both have grand painted walls with sculptures.

Simeon Charles Lee, the architect of the Fremont Theater, was a World War I Navy veteran. After moving to Los Angeles, he constructed the “Tower Theater”, which was completed in 1927, and was deemed, “the finest thousand-seat theater in America”.

The Fremont Theater is one of the last, of the seventy, “Streamline Moderne Theaters” constructed by Simeon Charles Lee.

After Simeon Charles Lee’s passing on January 27, 1990 he became the main subject on Maggie Valentine’s book on Theater architecture, “The Show Starts on the Sidewalk: An Architectural History Of the Movie Theatre”.

The LA Conservatory has more information on the life of S. Charles Lee:

https://www.laconservancy.org/architects/s-charles-lee

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