Title: FOX THEATER
Location Current Site: Boulder CO UNITED STATES
Creator Assoc Person Biography: Brain.Bowers@colordo.edu
Creator Assoc Person Name: Bowers,Brain, Mattivi,Mark
Creator Assoc Person Role: Instructor, Photographer
Subject.Image Description: Marquee at night
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, general view
Description.Subject Report: The Fox Theatre is located in Boulder, Colorado, within the popular restaurant, bar and commercial district, “The Hill”. Currently, and since 1991, the structure has served as a music venue for both locals and college students from the nearby University of Colorado and local Boulder residents. However, the history of ownership and use of the property is as varied as the music groups who play there.
The Fox Theatre occupies the structure at 1135 13th St. and was originally constructed in 1926. The construction was financed by William Beach and completed by Adrian Diez, who was also the first owner of the building. The property was first used as a vaudeville and movie theater known as the Rialto Theatre. Ownership of the property switched hands for the first time a year later when in May of 1927 it was sold to the Curran-Isis Theatres Company. These new owners closed the doors shortly after acquiring the theatre, and it remained closed and vacant until the mid 1930s. During this period of vacancy, the property was sold to the Fox Colorado Theatre Group Towards the end of the decade a new tenant inhabited the building, Buffalo Club Dancing. Although it is not known for sure exactly when they arrived, the dancing club was recorded as the occupants from at least 1938 to 1940. Shortly thereafter, and throughout the rest of the 1940’s, it served as a restaurant and entertainment venue offering live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Known as the Anchorage Bar and Grill, the spot became a popular destination for college students seeking a good time, as it became the place in town to go dancing and listen to the jukebox with friends. After a few other unsuccessful restaurants at the location during the 1950’s, the Fox began its transformation into a theater.
After a devastating fire destroyed the Fox Theater on 14th street in the downtown area of Boulder, the Fox Intermountain Amusement Corporation acquired the property at 1135 13th street with plans to make it a movie theater. They began their renovations in early 1961 and applied for a sign permit to erect a 50’ wide by 5’ tall, lighted marquee. In addition, the Fox Inter-Mountain company erected a lighted “Fox” sign above the marquee, which is still present today. The Fox Theatre officially opened on July 1, 1961 with 500 seats, a concession stand, stereophonic sound system and a large 36’ by 18’ screen. The venue continued to operate as a movie theatre for the next 25 years or so, until it closed its doors in the late 1980’s.
Several years later the property changed hands again when in 1991 three friends acquired the property in an effort to renovate it into a full-time, live music venue. The group of men- Don Strasburg, Jon O’Leary, Dickie Sidman- felt that there was a void in the type of venue and music being offered in Boulder and were determined to do something about it. They were quickly granted a liquor license from the city and began renovating the space for live performances. They began by removing all of the seats, creating enough space for 700 people and in addition to the original concessions stand being converted into a bar, several new bars were erected within the auditorium space. The space underneath the stage was remodeled into a “green room” for the performance artists, while offices were created on the small second floor. Finally, the group of men hired Bret Dowlen, a Denver acoustics expert, to design the sound system, while Dan Sherman was responsible for the lighting systems.
The Fox officially opened its doors on March 2, 1992 for a sold out show performed by the New Orleans band, the Meters. The venue began earning a reputation for great acoustics and a wonderful atmosphere, allowing them to book both large and small acts with a wide range of diversity. The excellent acoustics also turned the fox into a favorite recording studio for many bands, including Leftover Salmon and Dave Matthews Band (who also recorded their video for “What Would You Say” at the Fox). Soon, many of the bands that were playing their first shows at the venue began turning into national powerhouse acts. Many of these famous bands still give thanks to the Fox for their start, sometimes even coming back to play the small theatre. Today, the Fox is one of the most renowned music clubs in the country, ranking alongside some of the top-grossing clubs in the industry. Some notable bands who have performed at the Fox Theatre include John Scofield, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Blues Traveler, Hootie & The Blowfish, Phish, String Cheese Incident, STS9, The Fray, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and many more.
"Fox Theatre (Boulder, Colorado)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2 Mar 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fox_Theatre_(Boulder,_Colorado)&oldid=274464093>.
“Fox Theatre.” Mountain West Music. August 2002. Laurie Paulik.
“Legend of the Fox: A Decade Later, Boulder’s Scrappy Concert Venue Emerges as Top Grossing National Powerhouse”. March 1, 2002. G. Brown.
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 191776
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
Source.Requestor Full Name: Lickteig, Lynn
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