Fox Theatre

105 E. 5th Street,
Sedalia, MO 65301

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Chris: The impression I’ve gotten from the articles in The Sedalia Democrat is that the Fox was brand new in 1940. These lines from a September 5, 1940, article are an example: “About the NEW FOX Construction: Fireproof throughout. Steel, concrete, brick with California stucco and tile trim. Dimensions: Over all, 45 feet by 120 feet. Seating Capacity: 1,000, with perfect view of screen from any seat.”

Of course such lines could also apply to a theater that had been substantially rebuilt. However, the location on 5th Street precludes any possibility that an older house on the Fox’s site was the Sedalia Theatre that opened in 1905. There are too many sources indicating that the original Sedalia Theatre was at 3rd and Massachusetts. If there was a Sedalia Theatre at the Fox address in the 1930s, it must have been a second Sedalia Theatre.

A house called the Fox Sedalia Theatre was advertising at least as early as 1930 (the Fox Liberty was advertised at least as early as 1929.) The question would be whether the Fox Sedalia Theatre of the 1930s was the original Sedalia Theatre taken over by Fox, or was a different house at the 5th Street location. I haven’t found any sources confirming either possibility.

Wedfest
Wedfest on October 16, 2014 at 5:59 am

We are a Family in Greenville, SC who’s house burned down. We would like to have campfire Movies on the property of Classic Movies to generate revenue to rebuild the house. We could have anywhere from 20-120 people. We have never done this but we need to start as soon as possible before winter. Can you help us with information about what to do? We would like to show films like “It’s a wonderful life”, “African Queen” etc. Please call us at 1-864-616-2156 Sincerely, Marc and Colleen Wheeler

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Joe, could the Fox have been a renovation of a theatre already in existance. There was a 1400 seat Sedalia Theatre listed at the same address until 1939. The Motion Picture Yearbook also listed the Sedalia Theatre at that address. I posted a street view of what the Fox looks like today in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm

The 1960s aluminum false front has been peeled off of the Fox Theatre and replaced with a retro-style front that might more closely resemble the original Streamlined style of the building. The building has been converted into the Fox Theater Event Center, though the photo gallery at their web site shows that the historic interior of the building has been entirely lost. It’s pretty much just the shell of the theater, and a marquee with the name Fox on it.

CinemaTour has a photo of the renovated front. CinemaTour claims that the Fox was also known as the Sedalia, but the Sedalia Theatre was a different house, at Third and Massachusetts, which opened in 1905 and faded away in the 1930s, and was finally destroyed by a fire in 1977. I’m pretty sure the Fox was always called the Fox, but the Sedalia was called the Fox Sedalia in the early 1930s, around the same time the Liberty was called the Fox Liberty.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

The Thursday, September 5, 1940, issue of The Sedalia Democrat said that the new Fox Theatre would open Friday evening at 7:30.

kschneiderstl
kschneiderstl on January 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm

On the cinematour website there is a listing for a Diamond Drive-in Theatre. There is a phone # and it is NOT listed as closed. I’d call the number but I’m assuming if it really still exists they would not be open this time of year anyway. Can any Sedalia residents shed some light on the subject? Thanks.

William
William on February 12, 2007 at 3:45 pm

The Fox Theatre in Sedalia was operated by Fox Midwest Amusement Corp. (1944), which was later known as NT & T Amusement Corp. (Midwest Division)(1961), till the mid 60’s when it was taken over by Commonwealth Theatres, Inc..