The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 10, 2012

Fox Theatre gets boost toward deadline with loan from city

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation has until Oct. 31 to generate enough pledges to match a $500,000 federal grant for renovations to be made to the historic building in downtown Pittsburg.

Tuesday night, the City Commission moved the foundation $45,000 closer to its goal by approving a forgivable loan on the recommendation of the Economic Development Advisory Council.

“We will be two-thirds of the way to our goal with these dollars,” Vonnie Corsini, executive director of the foundation, told the commission. “We assure you, we will be good stewards of this investment.”

The loan, which carries a 3 percent interest rate, will come from a federal Community Development Block Grant. It need not be paid back so long as the foundation complies with criteria outlined in its application, including hiring at least one person and completing specified restoration projects.

Those projects include a new electrical system, emergency lighting, facade demolition and improvement, and a new heating and air-conditioning system, Corsini said.

In 2010, the foundation signed an agreement that secured $500,000 from the Save America’s Treasures grant program through the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. Such grants must be used for preservation and rehabilitation projects, and they must be matched locally by the foundation dollar for dollar, according to Corsini.

In recent years, the foundation has made strides in renovations with two grants from the Kansas Heritage Trust Fund, grants from the local Pritchett Trust and private donations. The foundation has spent $583,000 on capital projects, including a new roof, tuck-pointing on the south and west walls, mold removal, asbestos removal, repairs to the north wall, and fixing water issues in the basement that led to interior damage upstairs.

The Colonial Fox was built before the height of the traditional movie palace years (1925 to 1930), and between two world wars. It was one of several theaters that anchored Pittsburg’s downtown entertainment and nightlife district.

The theater closed to the public in 1985 and had fallen into disrepair. In 2006, a group of volunteers took up the theater’s cause, and by 2008 it had earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

In her presentation to the City Commission on Tuesday night, Corsini showed architectural renderings that paint the Fox as a cornerstone in what would become a vibrant downtown. The business plan projects September 2013 as the opening month.

The plan for the 620-seat theater is to eventually present 504 screenings of films per year, including nearly 300 art house (foreign, documentary and independent) films and 215 classics, and to present 100 live events per year — 77 local arts groups and 23 national touring artists.

According to economic impact studies, the theater could bring as many as 10,000 people to downtown Pittsburg each year.

“We can project definitive economic benefits,” Corsini said. As for the revenue the theater is projected to generate in the next five years, $103,367 would be in direct sales tax proceeds and $5,646 in new guest collections.

“I gotta tell you, I admire your tenacity and your board’s tenacity,” Commissioner Marty Beezley told Corsini. “I have no doubt at all that that $45,000 will be spent the very best way it can be spent.”

Floor plans

INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR architectural renderings and floor plans of planned renovations at the Colonial Fox Theatre are available at www.colonialfox.org/restoration-vision.html.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Last two safe room projects up for Joplin School Board approval

    The Joplin Board of Education during its meeting tonight will consider more than $2.4 million in bid packages for safe rooms at Columbia and West Central elementary schools.

    April 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Mosaic pieces together purpose

    Today I want to tell you about a man named John — a man I never knew existed until last week. And yet he’s making a difference in my community. He is an individual served by Mosaic of Southeast Kansas, which also, I learned, is making a difference.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage Historic Preservation to re-create trolley era

    Recapturing history is difficult, but recapturing history without a building, an artifact or a singular focal point is even harder. To celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, Carthage Historic Preservation wants to recapture an era and an experience that have been gone from the city for almost 80 years: the era of the trolley (or tram) cars that provided public transportation.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Candidates for associate judge address GOP group

    The response was all but unanimous among four candidates seeking two Jasper County associate circuit judge positions. Asked to cite the biggest obstacle to justice in Jasper County, three of the four said the most prevalent challenge is getting the needed time on a busy court docket.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Money to area lawmakers slows down but doesn’t stop

    With the Legislature back in session, the flow of campaign cash to local candidates has slowed. But in this election year, the money did not completely stop. All members of the local delegation to the Missouri General Assembly are on the ballot this year, but only two lawmakers are facing opposition.

    April 20, 2014

  • Joplin City Council to hear baseball plan details

    Proposed redevelopment plans for Joe Becker Stadium will be discussed with the Joplin City Council in a work session at the end of its regular meeting tonight. The WLD Suarez partnership has obtained a franchise of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball that succeeds the El Paso (Texas) Diablos.

    April 20, 2014

  • 041814 EPA projects5_72.jpg Contaminated mine tailings could be used on west bypass

    About 500 acres of former mining land at Wildwood Ranch have been reclaimed by contractors working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated mine tailings in the form of chat and waste rock have been consolidated in a surface repository that someday could be part of the roadbed for a limited-access highway that transportation planners hope to build on the west side of Joplin.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, following Russia's buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine. Do you think we should deploy these troops?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter