Who is Historic Fox Theatre
The historic Fox Theatre in Springfield, MO, has been a staple of the square for longer than most Springfieldians can remember. From its opening in 1916 as a movie theater to its new life as a beautiful history museum space, the Fox Theatre has seen countless changes in its century of life. The detailed history of the theatre tells a story of innovation and development over many years.
The story of the Fox Theatre starts in 1913 when much of the Square downtown was burned in a massive fire which began in the Heer’s store and spread to much of the northeast corner of the Square. Three years later, as the Square was just beginning to rebuild and renovate, the Electric Theatre chain out of Kansas City purchased the space to use as a movie theater. The theatre was claimed to be “without a doubt the nicest theatre in South Missouri” at the time of its opening. Interior designers were called in from Kansas City to ensure that the theatre was the height of fashion. Local artist Oliver J. Corbett was commissioned to design and create the decorative painting for the interior of the beautiful new theatre. Vaudeville acts were performed at the theatre along with the “feature pictures” of the time. The theatre even advertised shows on streetcars that rode around Springfield, MO. In one photo, those on the streetcar dressed like Charlie Chaplin to invite people to the upcoming film.
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