I t was quite a party.
The Nov. 17 gala opening of the newly refurbished Fox Theater was an event that has earned a place in Spokane’s social history.
More than 450 people – symphony supporters, business and community leaders and craftsmen and women – sat down to an elegant and delicious meal in the historic Pennington Ball Room at the Davenport Hotel.
After a buttery beef tenderloin filet, white truffle mashed potatoes and decadent desserts that included mascarpone huckleberry cheesecake, all complemented by Arbor Crest wines, guests applauded the years of planning, fundraising and back-breaking hard work involved in bringing the theater – now known as the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox – back to life.
To commemorate the occasion, a photographer climbed a ladder in the corner of the ballroom and took a photograph done in the style of the historic photos displayed in the Davenport Hotel.
After collecting coats and hats, partygoers strolled down a red carpet to the theater. This was a nod to the 1930s tradition of gathering at the hotel for a pre-concert meal and then walking to the Fox.
For the opening, vintage cars lined the carpet and young women in beaded vintage inspired dresses waved to the crowd.
The party atmosphere escalated when guests arrived at the theater and joined another 1,300 ticket holders. Men in tuxedos and women in gorgeous gowns, sipping wine and spirits, lined the mezzanine waving to friends and co-workers. Young musicians, members of East Valley High School’s Strolling Strings ensemble, provided musical entertainment.
The theater filled for the symphony’s first concert in the new acoustically magnificent space, and mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade christened the hall.
At intermission the lobby filled again.
At the end of the concert the streets around the Fox were filled with taxis and limos and pedestrians. Some walked over to The Big Easy for a post-concert reception and dancing. Others made their way home, warmed by the music and the celebration.
Bringing back the Fox was a big job. So, it was only fitting that the celebration was just as grand.
And it was.