The 1927 vintage Fox was a vaudeville and silent film theatre with commercial space fronting the street. In 1931 a 500-seat 2nd cinema replaced the stage; orchestra-pit, pipe-organ, dressing rooms and decorative interiors removed, Fox was adapted for cinema projection with sound. The 40,000 s.f. building remained vibrant until urban dynamics forced 17-years of vacancy. With purchase by the City the Fox was re-envisioned for performing arts serving 2-million people. Self-sustaining operation was mandated for the adaptive design of the $35-million downtown redevelopment centerpiece. Lateral strength for original structure derives from a new stagehouse and increased balcony framing. Additions are scaled and detailed compatibly with original design. Decorative interiors are recreated, theatre equipment for large-cast productions retracts when not used and seating is expanded and re-elevated for comfort and viewing. A new back-lot offers cast security and truck space for show load-ins.
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