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Legendary crooner Tony Bennett tops the Fox Theater's grand opening lineup, announced Friday. Here's the schedule:
A crane installs the refurbished Fox Theater sign.
Myrtle Woldson, the daughter of a Spokane pioneer railroad builder, confirmed Wednesday that she is the previously anonymous donor who gave $3 million toward restoration of the Fox Theater, and that as a result, the theater is going to be named in honor of her father, Martin Woldson. "He loved music," she said in a telephone interview, adding that having his name on the Fox would be an appropriate tribute to him.
A decorative mirrored star taken from the ceiling of the Fox Theater more than 30 years ago will be returned to the theater where it can shine down on audiences once again. Herbert Mueller, a retired dentist living in north Spokane, has offered to donate the star to the theater.
The Fox Theater. It has a pleasant ring to it. In the next couple of months, the theater may have a longer name. A private donor has paid $3 million for the naming rights of the art deco jewel built 76 years ago in downtown Spokane.
Last year when Jim and Arlene Coulson headed downtown to buy some of the Fox Theater seats as part of a fundraiser for the venerable Spokane movie house, they had a rough figure in mind. "I thought we'd buy a few rows," Jim says. "Of course, it got out of hand."
A large central sunburst chandelier still hangs from the ceiling of Spokane's historic Fox Theater. Also intact are elaborate murals, plaster ornamentation and even the original painted fire safety screen at the stage opening.
1. The exterior of the Fox Theater as it looked in 1931. File 2. Cashier Rachel Roman handles a carload of customers. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 3. Above: One of the art-deco touches at the theater is a star light in the ceiling of the main theater. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 4. Left: The main theater still seats 1,400, but rarely approaches capacity with bargain movie crowds. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 5. A two-year renovation of the Fox Theatre includes new carpeting in the lobby. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 6. A crowd of 20,000 showed up for the Fox Theatre's grand opening on Sept. 3, 1931, that included a gala ceremony presided over by five movie stars of the day. File/The Spokesman-Review