After sitting empty for 25 years, the theater, which had become home to over 40 homeless people, was nearly beyond restoration. Extensive water damage, vandalism, and neglect had conspired to keep the building dark. The owners, who had planned to demolish the Fox for a future office building, had decided to let the building slowly decay and had little interest in selling the property to anyone. Following a two-year negotiation with the property owner, the non-profit Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was able to purchase the building in 1999 for $250,000. Stabilization and planning for the rehabilitation/restoration began at once with a new roof being installed to stop further damage from the elements. Small restoration projects such as the repair and relighting of the original chandeliers kept the community engaged—through bi-annual open houses and special event fund-raisers. Following a six year, $13 million rehabilitation the theatre reopened on December 31, 2005.
Elements of the restoration/rehabilitation included:
- Decorative plaster and mural restoration throughout the building
- Repair to the unique original 'Acoustone' acoustic material
- Recreation of original seat fabric, carpet pattern and light fixtures from surviving examples and photographs
- New theatrical systems (light, sound, projection) to better serve the performing arts community both locally and for touring productions
- As the theater fills an important niche in the community due to its seating capacity, the local and national performing arts community were eager for its return. Programming at the theatre includes performances of Dance, Theater, Music and Film, children`s activities and community events as well as private corporate rentals.
Read more about this topic: Fox Tucson Theatre
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