Photo by: Bill Lesch

History

The Fox Tucson Theater, with the original name of "The Tower" opened on April 11, 1930 in downtown Tucson Arizona. During construction, the original goal was to have the theater to be  what is referred to as a dual vaudeville or dual movie house. There were plans of incorporating dressing rooms under the building as well as a fly lot. The present day Fox Tucson Theater does not include these features due construction taking place during the great depression. Budget went up about 100,000 dollars over the course of construction and to this day the dressing rooms are not finished. Just 47 years later in the year 1974, Fox Tucson Theater shut its doors and closed due to competition and lack of downtown shopping for Tucsonans. Over the span of being closed for 25 years, homeless people, water damage, and overall neglect left the once fruitful theater nearly unrepairable. In 1999 a non- profit organization named Fox Tucson Theater Foundation purchased the decaying building from the careless owners for $250,000. Over the span of the next 6 years, the restoration process consisted of many small projects. These projects ranged from focusing on the roofing and decor to adding new technology for theatrical systems such as lights and projection. 14 million dollars later the theater opened it's doors for the people of Tucson once again on December 31, 2005.The theater has had much success in recent years, hosting over 70,000 patrons in 2013.

A look Inside

The overall aesthetic of the Southwestern Art Deco used in and outside of the theater is beautiful. Prior to entering the building, guests are greeted to multiple ticket stands decorated with southwestern tiles. The renovations were stunning as the building keeps an authentic vintage feel, staying true to its original art design and art style while maintaining an overall fresh and clean look. The seating is fairly straight forward coming in at 1,164 comfortable red cushioned chairs. The chairs also feature a very southwestern art design that matches the overall theme of the establishment. The theater is by no means small though it is still able to capture the feeling of intimacy that comes from a smaller crowd. A majority of the seating is on the ground floor in front the stage along with a loge and finally a balcony. It is also noteworthy that seating for odd number tickets is on the left of the theater floor while even numbered seating is on the right hand side. The extremely tall ceiling and open atmosphere enhance audio for viewing purposes and create a generally comfortable intimate environment ideal for viewing films and shows.

 

Photo by: www.downtowntucson.org/                    Example of Southwestern Art Deco                     Photo by: http://gowebdev.net/Phto by: decopix.com

Importance to Tucson

The Fox Tucson Theaters importance to Tucson is quite profound and spans over many years. Dating back to 1930, the opening of the theater started one of the most exciting public parties in downtown Tucson history. Several streets were blocked off and waxed for dancing purposes as four live bands preformed for the public people outside of the theater. Those who did not have tickets to get in the theater that night to see the movies playing were welcome to dance and enjoy the live music outside while ticket buyers were treated to several critically acclaimed movies inside. Flash forward to present day and the admiration and connection Tucsonans have to the Fox Tucson Theater has grown even more. This connection of the Theater and the people of Tucson is shown through the impressive funding and the countless hours of renovation that went into the re-opening by over 200 volunteers. Now that the doors are open once again, the theater is expected to have around 70,000 customers and over 100 events planned this year. As a result of this importance to Tucson, the theater has been given the nick name "the crown jewel of downtown Tucson".

References

Decopix.com. Southwestern Art Deco. Digital image. N.p., 15 June 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

D. (n.d.). History of Fox Tucson Theatre. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://foxtucson.com/about/history/

D. (2015, June 25). Southwestern Art Deco [Digital image]. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.decopix.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/K3C7967_HDR-Edit-60070.jpg

F. (2016). Theater Seating [Digital image]. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.downtowntucson.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011/06/theatrefromstage_complete8681.jpg

Lesch, B. (2014, November 25). Fox Tucson Theater [Digital image]. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/local/explore-arizona/2014/11/25/robin-sewell-fox-theatre-liberty-market-cave-creek/70027162/