Best Theatrical Use of a Landmark Building Orange County 2009 - 'Hollywood In Fullerton,' Fox Theatre
Opened in 1925 and closed in 1987, the Fox Theatre had been nearly destroyed by the wrecking ball numerous times before a bunch of community activists convinced the city several years ago to help them to try to preserve the hulking beauty. It has been a long road, with the tarnished gem many millions of dollars away from being restored into what the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation desires: a state-of-the-art, cultural-arts center in the heart of downtown Fullerton. But the effort to raise awareness—and dollars—continues, and in June, perhaps the most significant event at the Fox since its halcyon days of hosting premieres of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks films occurred inside the building. Some 250 people, all outfitted in white construction hats, watched an hour-long, musical-theater homage to films of the 1970s. Assembled by the Maverick Theater's Brian Newell, the multimedia spectacle was definitely rough around the edges, but the lights, sound, signs and, most important, energy imbued a spark of life into this old bird that had been missing for more than 20 years. There was a glint in the grand dame's eye, and anyone who was there walked out knowing that when (and if) the Fox ever does reopen, it is a very special place, indeed.