E. Carlson, 1998

An exceptional building of the Spanish Baroque style.

From 1927 through 1969, The Fox was a movie theater. It was lavishly adorned on the inside and out with a seating capacity of close to 1,800. In the early 1980s the decor was partly restored, but proved too costly to reopen. The theater was bought by the city in 1985.

The following information is from the Mercury News (July 15, 1998).
The San Jose Symphony has an exclusivity commitment with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, giving it first dubs to redo it as their principal symphony hall. This preference expires in November.

Also, David and Lucile Pacard Foundation provided $25,000 to Opera San Jose for a feasibility study on converting the Fox into an Opera house.

Apparantly both the Symphony and the Opera need a home. One of them may wind up in the Fox. Decision by September. The Fox would require extensive renovation for either use.

Currently the Opera is lodged in the Montgomery Theater which has only 529 seats. It is located adjacent to the Civic Auditorium. The Fox would provide more seats, but has a very narrow stage and limited wing space.

The Symphony currently plays at the Center for Performing Arts (2,671 seats) where there are plenty of seats but the acoustics are described as "anything but vibrant." Their plan for the Fox would be to raise the roof to accomodate 1,600 to 1,700 seats.

Judging by the "hard core" rock and roll clubs in the neighborhood, the Fox appears to be ideally situated for use as a pornographic bookstore or leather shoppe.

Mercury News. Aug 1, 1998. "An Opera in the Fox's future?"
Opera San Jose had a meeting followed by "checking out the acoustic" with a pair of singers. General Director Irene Dalis called it "an impromtu little thing." Four years ago the Opera company was not interested in the fox but appear to be now.

The Symphoney has raised 2.3 million dollars for the Fox project. The Symphony has been interested for about a year.

Rehabilitation for the Fox is thought to be $30 million to upgrade to symphony, half raised by private sources. $34 million to upgrad to opera -more elaborate stage and backstage accounting for the extra millions.

Return to The Tech