Performance and Arts 5/16/14—3/10/24

2024-03-10_208722_WTA_Mini4Pro The Fox Theatre is a performing arts center located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, near the Grand Circus Park Historic District. Opened...
1 The Fox Theatre is a performing arts center located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, near the Grand Circus Park Historic District. Opened in 1928 as a flagship movie palace in the Fox Theatres chain, it was at over 5,000 seats the largest theater in the city. Designed by theater architect C. Howard Crane, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 for its architecture. The area surrounding the Fox is nicknamed Foxtown. The city's major performance centers and theatres emanate from the Fox Theatre and Grand Circus Park Historic District and continue along Woodward Avenue toward the Fisher Theatre in the city's New Center.
The Fox has 5,048 seats (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s and the largest of the original Fox Theatres. The Fox was fully restored in 1988. The adjacent office building houses the headquarters of Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars.
History
See also: Performing arts in Detroit
The Detroit Fox is one of five spectacular Fox Theatres built in the late 1920s by film pioneer William Fox. The others were the Fox Theatres in Brooklyn, Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Architect C. Howard Crane designed the Fox with an "exotic" interior appropriating Burmese, Chinese, Indian and Persian motifs. There are three levels of seating, the Main Floor above the orchestra pit, the Mezzanine, and the Gallery (balcony).
The exterior of the attached 10-story office building features a fa├žade with Asian motifs which, when illuminated at night, can be seen for several blocks. The Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri is (on the interior) its near architectural twin with about 500 fewer seats. The 10-story Detroit Fox Theatre building also contains the headquarters of Olympia Entertainment, while the St. Louis Fox is a stand-alone theatre. The architectural plaster molds of the Detroit Fox (1928) were re-used on the St. Louis Fox (1929).
The Fox opened in 1928 and remained Detroit's premier movie destination for decades. Unlike many neighboring theatres, it operated continually until it was closed in the early 1980s for restoration. By the 1960s, the venue was showing its age but maintenance of many key areas was deferred. By the 1970s mezzanine and balcony seating areas were closed to the public.
In 1984 Chuck Forbes, owner of the State and Gem theaters, proposed a renovation project. These plans were never fully realized, but in 1988 the theater was acquired by new owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, who fully restored the Fox at a cost of $12 million. Their company, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., is headquartered in the Fox Theater Office Building. The downtown area near Grand Circus Park which encompasses Fox Theatre is sometimes referred to as Foxtown after the theater. In 2000, Comerica Park opened and helped to revitalize the neighborhood along with the construction of Ford Field in 2002, and Little Caesars Arena in 2017.

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