Fox Oakland’s $68 million dollar restoration nears completion
OAKLAND, CA — What began as a minimal renovation to reopen the Fox Oakland that was permanently closed in 1984 has launched into a near full restoration effort that when completed, will cost close to $68 million.
At a sneak peek on Thursday night, in which more than 100 people were treated to an insider’s tour of the restoration, the Fox Theater revealed how its intriguing decor once captivated Oakland Calif. audiences. Developer Phil Tagami said the restoration project of the Fox Theater has already raised $63 million, but needs another $5 million for the finishing touches.
When first opened, the Fox Oakland boasted it was the largest theater on the west coast. Among its many decorative touches are two huge Hindu deity statues, one on either side of the proscenium, sitting cross legged, each holding a bowl in their lap. During the heyday of the Fox Theater, bursts of steam were shot up through bowls in the Hindu deities laps, giving the illusion of smoke rising from the bowls as the house lights dimmed and the curtain opened.
A full article on the restoration of the Fox Oakland can be found at in Inside Bay Area.
Photos of the building and the auditorium, including the huge Hindu deity statues, taken in 1985 and 2004 can be seen at the Friends of the Fox Web site.
The interior of the theater was used in the 1978 film “Nightmare in Blood” with Kerwin Mathews.
The exterior of the theater was used in the 1988 film “Tucker: The Man And His Dream” with Jeff Bridges.