It took more than 30 years, but the Fox Tucson Theatre's revitalization was worth the long wait.
Tucson's premier vaudeville and movie palace opened in 1930. The luxurious building near the corner of Stone Avenue and Congress Street was a cultural hub of the city from its opening night until it closed in 1974.
The theater was threatened with demolition, but in 1999, the nonprofit Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation stepped up and bought the theater, intending to restore, renovate and reopen the downtown gem, which is most famous locally for hosting the Mickey Mouse Club.
On Dec. 31, 2005, the nearly 30,000-square-foot art-deco venue finally reopened after a reconstruction effort that included an eagle’s eye for authentic detail—down to using the exact same seat fabric the Fox originally opened with.
Despite outcries about the millions of dollars the city pumped into renovation of the building, the theater today hosts concerts, dance performances, fundraisers, weddings and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s worth a walk-through even if nothing is happening.