The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 31, 2013

First public event in nearly three decades set for historic Pittsburg theater

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — For the first time in nearly 30 years, the historic Colonial Fox Theatre will open to the public. A live antique auction — not a movie — is slated for the 90-year-old theater on April 27.

“We are staging it to be the premier antique event in Pittsburg, and hope it will become an annual event,” said Sarah Jensen, the theater’s public relations director. “We’ll have an antique market that will take place downtown, and an antique auction right on the stage.”

It’s a sample of things to come, say the folks who are working to restore the building.

“We definitely want the public to know that we’re not going to be constrained by a specific genre,” said Jensen. “We could have virtually anything here — live music, weddings, you name it.”

The theater is an antique in its own right and was one of several that anchored Pittsburg’s downtown entertainment and nightlife district. It closed to the public in 1985 and fell into disrepair. In 2006, a group of volunteers took up the theater’s cause and by 2008 had earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places.