Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fox Theater Foundation: Get your shit together!


I walked by the Fox Theater today and saw the workers tearing down the "Fox" marquee, which has been there for over 20 years. I was like, "What the fuck are they doing?!" Two men in Fox Theater Foundation shirts and hard hats were observing from across the street. They looked content. I asked the older one, "Why are you tearing down the marquee?"

"It's not historically significant," he said, "We're gonna build a flat marquee, like they had in the 1930s."

Which is fine. But it seems to me that time and resources would be better spent renovating the INSIDE of the theater, so people could actually go there. Also, anyone who lives in Fullerton knows the iconic marquee, and not some 30s version no one has seen before.

Leaving the marquee issue aside, I wanted to touch on a larger problem I have with the Fox Theater Foundation. Seven years ago, the Fox theater was "saved" from demolition, because of a massive amount of donations from ordinary residents. SEVEN years later, the theater is still not open to the public, despite the fact that the Fox Theater Foundation has received millions of donations and redevelopment tax dollars from the city.

And what have they accomplished? They kicked the tenants out of the adjoining buildings. They are tearing down the marquee. They put some posters and fancy signs up. Meanwhile, this amazing public resource remains unutilized.

Come on Fox Theater Foundation. Stop being ineffectual bureaucrats and get your shit together. Do what you were created to do. Open the Fox Theater. How long do you need? Another seven years? I hope to be able to visit The Fox before I die.


  1. I almost cried when I drove by and saw them taking the F down. I noticed there were people videoing and I was like WTF, why is this happening. Isn't the whole idea to restore it? That sign is iconic as the city itself!!

  2. Wonder what they'll do with the ticket booth?

  3. Jenny and I interviewed them years ago for one of her school projects. The plan for the Marquee was that it was going to be moved to the backside of the theater. The side with the parking lot which will ultimately be the main entrance to the theater.

    I have seen pictures of the 1925 version and I think it's cool that they're taking it back to it's original face.

    The idea was still to restore the marquee and move it, not to destroy it. There renovations are also divided up into phases, with the actual theater as the last phase. The first phases are about renovating the businesses and the tea room in order to get some revenue back from those businesses.

    I agree, though, that it's hard to tell how much progress is actually being made.

  4. Why not use it in the future restaurant?, as a focal point.