City News: May 2007 Archives

Open house at the Fox

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This past Thursday, the city of Riverside held a "Restoration Celebration" open house for the Fox Theater in downtown. Over a thousand people showed up to take a sneak peek inside the long-shuttered theater prior to its forthcoming $30 million renovation into a 1,600 seat performing arts center, which is expected to be completed in December 2008.


2007
Open house


2007
Pre-renovation peek

In attendance were Mayor Ron Loveridge, City Councilman Dom Betro and project architect Richard McCann of RFM Architecture, who has renovated Glendale's Alex Theater, the Pasadena Playhouse and the California Theater in San Bernardino.

Also on hand was Joe Kobryner of the Nederlander Organization, which operates numerous theaters and venues across the nation, including 9 theaters in New York's Broadway district as well as the Pantages and Wilshire theaters in Los Angeles and The Grove in Anaheim.

The Fox has long been a revered theater in Southern California. Opened in 1929 as the Riverside Theater, the venue's name was eventually changed to Riverside Fox Theater as part of the chain's West Coast Theaters group. Due to its proximity to Hollywood, the Fox became a favorite locale for movie test screenings, including the first public showing of "Gone with the Wind" in 1939.

In 1942, the large backstage area was converted into a second smaller theater (The Lido). By the late 1970s, both the Fox and Lido had seen better days. The former began showing Spanish language films while the latter was relegated to adult fare. Since the early 1990s, the Fox has essentially been sitting empty with only limited use.

As one of the cornerstones of the city's "Renaissance" plan, the Fox will play a key part in bolstering rising activities downtown, particularly at night. Although both weeknight and weekend activity has grown steadily over the past few years, a healthy performing arts center will no doubt help solidify downtown's reemergence.

Judging by the conversations -- and the crowd -- at the open house, it appears we're not the only ones eagerly awaiting a rejuvenated Fox. And with both UCR and RCC performance arts schools in the works, downtown Riverside will soon have plenty of "artistic" company.

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Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, RFM Architecture, Cinema Treasures


More - City News: May 2007:
April 2012 | March 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | March 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | November 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | December 2007 | October 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007 | February 2007 | November 2006 | September 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | December 2005 | October 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 |

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This page is a archive of entries in the City News category from May 2007.

City News: April 2007 is the previous archive.

City News: June 2007 is the next archive.

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