It’s a gracefully simple building from the outside, but inside, Spokane’s Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox is a rare Art Deco masterpiece. Today, we know it as the cultural heart-beat of downtown, but at the turn of the century the building was slated for destruction. It appeared that the theater’s impressive story was going to end with the construction of a fresh parking lot.
A hub of culture, The Fox Theater opened in the 1930s to great fanfare. Designed by Hollywood’s most in demand designers, The Fox’s glamorous murals, elaborate light fixtures and elegant layout brought the allure of the golden age of Hollywood to downtown Spokane during the height of the depression.
The Fox was built not only to be a beautiful movie-house, but to bridge the gap between the Vaudeville era and the new era of the silver screen. It included not just a screen and projector, but a stage and orchestra pit – positioning the theater to become a cultural hub for decades, and generations to come. Hosting the Spokane Symphony, the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and world-class performers.
The Fox was a modern triumph, giving a nod to the past while launching Spokane into the future.
But, over time, the theater’s bright lights dimmed. The once grand concert hall was divided into a movie multiplex. Before long, the doors shut. It seemed that this jewel of Spokane was to become just a story of the past.
The Spokane Symphony rallied the community to purchase the building. And a massive restoration began. Years of cigarette smoke and popcorn grease were washed away, murals rediscovered, and its art-deco glory restored.
Today, the halls ring with beautiful music once more, and The Fox has reclaimed its role as a cultural gathering place for the entire Spokane region. The Spokane Symphony calls it home and serves as its steward, and comedians, rock stars, and actors perform under its massive sunburst ceiling. Attendees not only enjoy the show on stage, but are surrounded by a true piece of art and a representation of Spokane’s ambitious, collaborative spirit.
The Fox Theater serves as a living memorial to Spokane’s past, while once again launching the city into the future. Proving that an encore performance has the power to inspire an entire community.
The Spokane Symphony is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox restoration with a community day. The building will be open to the public for self-guided tours. Guided tours of the stage and back stage areas will also be available for $5. Explore the theater masterpiece while enjoying the sounds of the Spokane Symphony in the water themed lobby.
November 12, 2017