The Fox Theatre - Spokane, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 39.427 W 117° 25.628
11T E 467927 N 5278279
Quick Description: An Art Deco building, The Fox was probably the largest theatre built in Spokane. It is now home to the Spokane Symphony.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 12/19/2013 7:34:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMJQQR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 2

Long Description:
Opened on September 3, 1931, this Robert Chambers Reamer design is a large art deco building, not atypical of the time, which had seating for 2,350. The theatre was built by Fox West Coast Theaters as a venue for movies produced by Fox.

Architecturally, the interior spaces of the theatre have been referred to as "flat and boxy". It operated continuously as a movie theatre until its closure on September 21, 2000. Saved from demolition by the Spokane Symphony, they launched a fund raising campaign to restore the building. Having been multiplexed in 1975, partitions were removed and seating capacity reduced to 1,700 as part of the $31 million renovations that were completed in November of 2007.

When reopened on November 17, 2007 it was renamed the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox and serves as the home of the Spokane Symphony. As a result of the renovation, the theatre has been returned to essentially its original appearance, both inside and out.

Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Katharine Hepburn have all performed here, and now one can rent the building for occasions, such as weddings. The building is capable of handling parties of 2 to 1,600 persons for ceremonies and 50 to 450 for receptions. That would be a BIG wedding, in our estimation. The theatre produces seasonal events, symphonies and concerts throughout the year.

1931 Opening Night Dazzled Spokane
On the evening of September 3, 1931, searchlights roamed the sky and the streets were jammed with 30,000 people celebrating Spokane's Golden Jubilee and the grand opening of the Theater.

Celebrities and movie stars greeted the crowd from the roof of the Theater before watching the world première of Merely Mary Ann on the big screen. Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor, stars of the film, were on hand, as were Anita Page, Will Rogers, and child star Rosemarie.

Built during the dark days of the Depression by Fox West Coast Theaters at a price of $1,000,000, the Theater was the largest in Spokane, at 2300 seats. Architect Robert Reamer, famous for his design of Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful Inn, designed the Theater in the exuberant and modernistic Art Deco style.

First Air-Conditioned Building in Spokane
Because the Theater was constructed during the transition between vaudeville and silent movies and the "talkies," the Theater was equipped with the a full-height stage house, orchestra pit, and dressing rooms to accommodate a range of movies and live performances.

The Theater featured the most advanced movie technology of the day, and was the first air-conditioned building in Spokane. The Theater was very proud of this distinction, and had picture windows installed that overlooked the mechanical room, so that passersby on the street could marvel at the oversized equipment.

The Theater is constructed of concrete and employs a sleek modernity, while the flat surfaces and lack of ornamentation provide graceful simplicity. The local newspaper described the building as "the last word in beauty and efficiency."

Inside the Theater, fantastic murals created by Anthony Heinsbergen evolve from underwater floral patterns at the lobby level to landscapes of castles, rivers, and clouds on the mezzanine, culminating with a magnificent 60-foot wide sunburst that dominates the auditorium. Sunlight radiates across the ceiling and falls on a canopy of foliage representative of a forest under a starlit sky.
From The Fox

The ad below was published on page three of the September 3rd, 1931, issue of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, right after the news stories of the opening of the theatre on that day.



Name of publication (required):
Spokane Spokesman-Review


Date of Publication (required):
September 3, 1931


Does the ad identify the location of the company?: no

Web URL to additional proof of location or additional information.: [Web Link]

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BK-Hunters visited The Fox Theatre - Spokane, WA 1/17/2014 BK-Hunters visited it