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Spokane Fox Theater: Elegant, Classy, and Modern

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The Spokane Fox Theater provides a venue for entertainment and cultural affairs using state-of-the-art and updated technology. Built to inspire audiences, the theater is home to Spokane Symphony.The Fox is located at the heart of Davenport Arts District on Monroe Street. This 1931 innovative Art Deco movie theater represents an undying love for the arts.
Opening – The Fox opened in a dazzling night with searchlights roaming the sky on September 3, 1931. Attended by 30,000 people, the event showcased the world premiere of ‘Merely Mary Ann,’ a movie top-billed by Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor. Standing with murals, fixtures and a striking staircase, the theater within days became the most luxurious in the city. The theater also staged concerts for its first three decades.
Decline – The Theater experienced a long, steady decline beginning in the 1950s. Audiences were fascinated to sub-urban movie theaters. This period eventually led to first dividing the theater’s balcony into two smaller theaters in 1975. Later, it became a triplex. For the years that followed until 2000, the theater became a discount movie house. ‘Gladiator,’ featuring Russel Crowe in the lead role was the last movie shown here. A scheduled demolition was underway which will convert the theater to a parking lot in 2000.
Renovation – Recognizing the theater’s potential as an outstanding concert hall, the Spokane Symphony acquired Spokane Fox Theater and saved it from demolition.
Saving the theater from utter destruction meant to raise massive funds. Not only was the building’s infrastructure outdated but the acoustics was also inadequate for a revered concert hall.Luckily, the fund-raising campaign was very extensive with Spokane Symphony staging the lead.First, $1.3 million was accumulated to acquire the facility from over 1,300 contributors. For the restoration, a total of $31 million was raised to thoroughly renovate the old facade particularly its Art Deco embellishments. ‘Save the Fox’ campaign was supported by foundations, corporations, private donors, federal and local governments and the use of Historic and New Markets Tax Credits. After a long-overdue, the Fox opened its doors again in November 2007.Spokane Fox Theater was renamed Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in honor of Myrtle Woldson’s father. Myrtle Woldson donated $3 million that drove the theater’s restoration venture.As a venue for a variety of entertainment, business and private events, the theater houses these artistic constituents:
Spokane Symphony Orchestra is the anchor tenant with a 70-piece orchestra presenting critically acclaimed performances of the world’s most respected soloists. The orchestra provides a wide variety of exceptional educational experiences.
Spokane Youth Symphony offers orchestral education and performance opportunities institution for the youth.
Spokane String Quartet brings live, professional chamber music performances.
Spokane Opera makes classical and modern opera events, promotes regional talents and generate an appreciation of opera history through performances and educational activities.
The magic is alive at the Spokane Fox Theater. With its ups and downs, it continues to host gala events that capture the beauty of the arts.Being revived as it is today, the Fox will always be close to the hearts of the people it touched including Symphony’s conductor Eckart Preu. Onstage, he left the crowd with these words, following the success of the restoration project.”Every musician seeks the best instrument, such as a Stradivarius. This building, right here, is our Strad.”

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