Tucson Presents “Fox Tucson Theater”
History of Fox Tucson Theater
Construction began on what was to be called the Tower Theatre at Congress and Stone on August 24, 1929. The theatre was to be the crown jewel in the Diamos Brothers’ Lyric Amusement chain of theatres throughout Southern Arizona. By late September of the same year, the Fox West Coast Theatre chain had acquired the property along with the others in the Lyric chain, and the Tower became the Fox. Originally budgeted at $200,000, the theatre would eventually cost $300,000 including furnishings. Designed as a dual vaudeville/movie house, the Fox featured a stage, full fly-loft, and dressing rooms beneath the stage. The combined effects of “talkies” and the Depression limited the opportunities for live performance, and the dressing rooms were never completed.
Opening night, April 11, 1930, proved to be the biggest party the small community of Tucson had ever seen. With Congress Street closed and waxed for dancing, four live bands, a live radio broadcast and free trolley rides Downtown, the party was one not to be missed.Those lucky enough to have bought tickets in advance—3,000 or so people—enjoyed the show inside as well as out. The film “Chasing Rainbows,” a MovieTone short, and a Mickey Mouse cartoon were well received by both audiences that evening, and the Fox Theatre began its 40year life as the center of Tucson’s entertainment world.
Competition from other venues, drive-ins and television conspired to end the run of popularity the Fox had enjoyed. Partial remodels of the theatre left it with most of its original charm, but vanishing retail and housing Downtown spelled the end in 1974. Various efforts to revive the theatre were unsuccessful, but luckily the property was spared the wrecking ball. Hidden from the view of the public for more than 26 years, the grand theatre was never forgotten by its former patrons. It lives in their memories, awaiting a time when Tucson will embrace their history and bring back the Fox.
Tucson Arizona’s Fox Tucson Theater is one of Tucson’s premier entertainment venues. The theater was bult in 1930 and was restored to it current state in 2005. the theater is always a hot spot for shows both theatrical in nature and and musical. On saturday june 16th Roger Mcguinn will be featured along with Lyle Lovett on sunday July 1st. they are both follwed by the one and only Willie Nelson on July 11th. Go to the web site at http://www.foxtucsontheatre.org/mainhome.php and check out the list to follow as there are some really good ones. You can also keep up to date with the theater at http://www.facebook.com/foxtucsontheatre Buy your tickets early!!!!