|History of the Aurora Fox Theater|
by Stormy on April 20, 2014
From the U.S. Army Air Corps to Spamalot. All in one place.
I can’t talk about all the things happening at the Aurora Fox Theater without talking about the rich history of the theater itself.
The Aurora Fox Theater opened on October 30, 1946 with a showing of “Claudia and David”, staring Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young. The Fox Theater, as it was then called, was owned by Fox Intermountain Theaters and was an unusual theater at the time. It had a stepped stadium seating area in the rear, which is something that we now take for granted in theaters. The building was a modified quonset hut used by the Lowry Army Air Corps Base during World War II. (The U.S. Air Force separated from the U.S. Army on September 18, 1947.) During these years the theater had a seating capacity of 650 persons.
The Fox was a landmark theater along Colfax in east Aurora for almost four decades, but in 1983 the movie theater experienced a fire. The fire itself did little damage, but damage from smoke and water were significant and the theater had to close. It had to be fully remodeled before it could reopen and was redesigned as a stage theater rather than a movie theater. The new design incorporated the 245 seat Aurora Fox Theater, a smaller black box Aurora Fox Studio Theater and the Aurora Fox Children’s Theater. Together the three theaters are collectively referred to as the Aurora Fox Arts Center and are owned and operated by the City of Aurora Cultural Services Division. The complex reopened in 1985, complete with attached rehearsal and scenery shop facilities. Its first stage show was the western melodrama “Bad Day at Gopher’s Breath”.
The Aurora Fox Arts Center is home to the Aurora Fox Theater Company which presents eight plays every year. The Fox also hosts visiting theater companies, sponsors educational programs and is available to be rented out for private events.
The Aurora Fox Theater is a cultural destination for the shows it puts on, the distinct architecture of the building and the historical district in which it is located, the original Town of Fletcher, where Aurora was born.
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