About the theatre:
The Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was incorporated in July of 1999 and was formed for the express purpose of returning the theatre to the community. The Foundation is an Arizona formed out of the citizen’s group known as the Fox Theatre Revival Committee, which began looking at ways to save the theatre in 1997. This group was composed of people who wanted to see the theatre restored, and re-opened. The stated mission of the Foundation is the purchase, restoration, renovation, and operation of the historic Fox Tucson Theatre, located at 17 West Congress, in downtown Tucson, Arizona.The Fox Tucson Theatre is a proud member of the Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance.
on August 24, 1929. The theatre was to be the crown jewel in the Diamos Brothers’ Lyric Amusement chain of theatres throughout Southern Arizona. By late September of the same year, the Fox West Coast Theatre chain had acquired the property along with the others in the Lyric chain, and the Tower became the Fox. Originally budgeted at $200,000, the theatre would eventually cost $300,000 including furnishings. Designed as a dual vaudeville/movie house, the Fox featured a stage, full fly-loft, and dressing rooms beneath the stage. The combined effects of "talkies" and the Depression limited the opportunities for live performance, and the dressing rooms were never completed.
Opening night, April 11, 1930, proved to be the biggest party the small community of Tucson had ever seen. With Congress Street closed and waxed for dancing, four live bands, a live radio broadcast and free trolley rides Downtown, the party was one not to be missed.Those lucky enough to have bought tickets in advance—3,000 or so people—enjoyed the show inside as well as out. The film "Chasing Rainbows," a MovieTone short, and a Mickey Mouse cartoon were well received by both audiences that evening, and the Fox Theatre began its 40year life as the center of Tucson’s entertainment world.
Competition from other venues, drive-ins and television conspired to end the run of popularity the Fox had enjoyed. Partial remodels of the theatre left it with most of its original charm, but vanishing retail and housing Downtown spelled the end in 1974. Various efforts to revive the theatre were unsuccessful, but luckily the property was spared the wrecking ball. Hidden from the view of the public for more than 26 years, the grand theatre was never forgotten by its former patrons. It lives in their memories, awaiting a time when Tucson will embrace their history and bring back the Fox.