This fall, the Fox West Theatre on Main Street in Trinidad will be hosting a season of performances for the first time in nearly a century. Right now, the theatre’s Project Manager Christopher Smith and videographer Elizabeth Holloway are capturing stage performances and beginning October 31 will be releasing some of them to raise awareness about the historically significant structure on their YouTube channel.
“The famous Rapp Brothers architects from Chicago were very likely involved in the design of the theatre and when it was built in 1908 served as a Vaudeville venue on what was known as the Orpheus Circuit until movies became the next big thing,” said Smith. “After that, the idea of having performances here was kind of forgotten in favor of higher grossing movies that were shown in the theatre until 2013.”
In the 1930s, the stage’s mezzanine was covered with a projector screen and the great performance venue became a movie theatre for the rest of the 20th Century and a bit into the 21st; the stage (and many rooms) were covered or built over — frozen in time.
Smith said they are also working to capture the unveiling of a few places that haven’t had people in them since the 1930’s as well as filming several other unique and rarely seen areas of the theatre in hopes of raising the public’s interest and curiosity.
“I want people to get as excited about this project as I am,” said Smith. “The amount of history and lore around this place is fascinating and we’re always finding more. We hope that by filming a lot of this in a kind of This Old House style, more people will realize what an asset this theatre is and why it’s important to bring performances back here.”
In 2018, with support from History Colorado, the Fox West Theatre was purchased by the City of Trinidad. With support from Dana Crawford and Urban Neighborhoods, Inc. of Denver, in 2019, the Fox West Theatre Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was established, to facilitate the preservation of this historic theatre.
This season is made possible through support from the Bar NI Foundation, the City of Trinidad Tourism Bureau, and Urban Neighborhoods, Inc.
“We couldn’t be bringing this fall season to fruition without the support from everyone who has chipped in to help make this a reality,” said Smith. “But we still really need the rest of the community to buy into this project as much as they are willing and able.”
Smith said they are still accepting sponsorships for their video performances that will be seen on YouTube and social media by a large amount of people locally as well as around the nation as interest and awareness for the theatre grows.
Businesses, organizations, and individuals from around Trinidad and from across the world are encouraged to help support the Fox West Theatre by becoming a sponsor. Sponsorship opportunities are available through September 15, 2020. To find out more about how you can support Fox West Theatre’s renovation efforts, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.