ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– The Fox Theater in St. Louis has been around for more than 80 years.
But this week marks the 30th year since the Fox became “fabulous.”
The Fox opened as a movie palace in 1929, with the silent film, “Street Angel.”
But 53 years later, it would take a several more angels for the Fox to stage a comeback.
“There was no feasibility study,” said Mary Strauss, Co-Owner of the Fox. “We didn`t care, we were gonna do it. It was risky. It was gutsy. But we had a dream and we wanted to do it.”
Strauss, and her late husband Leon, a local developer, first toured the Fox in January 1981. What they found was a beautiful wreck. Then, they found a few partners to help them bring it back to life.
By September 7, 1982, the wreckage had been stripped away, the glitter restored and the stage brought to life, starting with the Broadway musical, “Barnum.”
Since then, the Fox has brought in more than 1,500 acts, and presented more than 6,000 performances.
“We`ve had ice skating on the stage, wrestling, we`ve had body building contests,. we`ve had boxing, we`ve done a little bit of everything,” Strauss said.
Stage Hand Tim Schindler has been part of the Fox crew since the year it reopened.
“When the artists come in and ooh and aah, it kind of makes you feel good you are a part of this,” Schindler said. “It`s a one of a kind thing and it’s good that St. Louis preserved it.”
Even though the Fox now competes with several large theaters, including the Peabody and the Touhill, it is competition they welcome and even feel they helped create.
“Because of the Fox, the whole entertainment industry in St. Louis opened up. It is really unusual for a show to go on tour and not play St. Louis somewhere,” Strauss said.
Since reopening in 1982, more than 16 million people have seen a show at the Fox.