Celebrating the Fox Theater then and now - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Celebrating the Fox Theater then and now

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Revived and restored. This month marks the 10th anniversary of restoration for the historic Fox Theater in downtown Spokane, saving it from becoming a parking lot.

We talked with a woman with a legitimate claim on being the first fan of the Fox, through all of its ups and downs. "It's just a special treat coming to the Fox Theater," said Joan Degerstrom.

94-year-old Joan Degerstrom has been coming to the Fox Theater ever since she was a little girl. "First (time) coming in here was like coming into a palace, I mean, never seen anything so gorgeous," she said.

Degerstrom says she was at the Fox Theater when it first opened on September 3, 1931 when she was just eight-years-old. "The streets were filled with thousands of people and it was exciting to see that many people and they were standing up on the roof so everybody could see," she said.

She was there with her mother, father, and brother. "We were standing on the corner right by the Chronicle building. It was such an unusual thing, because we had other theaters and they were nice theaters but nothing like this, and it was fabulous," Degerstrom said.

She says in those times, you could come to the Fox and watch movies for 25 cents. They would list the time in the paper. They had usherettes that would even take you to your seat. "They had concerts and they had plays and opera," said Degerstrom.

Years later, the Fox fell on hard times where it was going to be torn down and turned into a parking lot. But then, after a public outcry and donation campaign, it was rescued and crews began restoring the building. "What a wonderful job they did restoring it. It's just amazing they could do it," she said.

It's now the permanent home to the Spokane Symphony, where Degerstrom likes to come, sit in her favorite spot, and listen to the symphony's music stretch through the interior. "The music (and) the acoustics are perfect in the Fox and anywhere you sit is perfect and it's just a wonderful place to come," she said.

It's a place that Degerstrom says she'll continue to love and will always be in her heart.

The Nutcracker is coming to the Fox Theater on the 30th and it's one of Degerstrom's favorites.

Degerstrom was also given her own star at the Fox Theater, kind of like the walk of fame in Hollywood for being such a big donor and part of the Fox Theater family. 

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