Fox Theatre

423 W. Main Street,
Trinidad, CO 81082

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Lower photo -West Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally known as West’s Theater, for its owner Ed West, a Trinidad, Colorado businessman, this theater was designed by local Trinidad architects I.H. & W.M. Rapp (brothers to C.W. and George Rapp) along with a member of the firm, A.C. Hendrickson, construction began on February 17, 1907. On March 16, 2008, it marked 100 years since it opened. Excepting for brief periods for renovation through the years, it has the distinction of being Colorado’s oldest and largest extant theatre that has never closed.

The theatre’s foundation extends more than 40 feet below West Main Street. Total height of the stage wall is more than 115 feet. Two million bricks were used in the building’s construction, along with twelve carloads of Portland cement.

The general design throughout is in a Renaissance style, the interior being treated in a restrained Rococo Style of French Renaissance. The main entrance to the theater proper is through a lobby sixteen feet wide and forty feet deep. The auditorium is sixty-three feet wide and the same in height. The proscenium arch is thirty-four feet wide and the same in height. The arch is eliptical in form and blends back to the front of the boxes where it meets the pendentive, filling the angle between the boxes and sides of the auditorium. There are two balconies, the upper most one is referred to as the gallery. Before seating was changed, and the gallery was closed, the auditorium could accomodate 1,150 people. Acoustics were said to be supurb. Storefronts were located on either side of the main entrance to the theatre; one originally housed a bar/restaurant and the other storefront housed a drugstore.

The theatre opened on March 16, 1908, with the stage play “The Bondman”. For many years the theatre was the venue for stage performances, vaudeville, opera and silent movies. A ballroom was located in the basement which had its formal opening on May 20, 1908, and the first silent movie, a Cameraphone affair, was shown on November 3, 1908.

Ed West passed away on October 30, 1911, and his son Harry sold the theatre to the Kohn and Fairchild Amusement Co. on June 2, 1920. ‘Talkies’ made their debut on April 30, 1929, and in August 1929, Fox West Coast Theatre Company purchased the building. In October 1929, the theatre became known as the West-Fox Theatre. During March & April 1935, a marquee was added above the entrance to the theatre.

After October, 1942, ‘West’ was formally dropped for the theatre’s name, and it was known from then on as the Fox Theatre. On February 17, 1959, the theatre was sold to John, Marie and Salma Sawaya, a son and two daughters of a prominent Trinidad Lebanese family.

Mike Hadad, a nephew of the Sawaya’s, has been manager of the theatre for several years. As of mid-2011, it remained open screening a feature film seven evenings a week and an occasional matinee on Sundays. It was closed in the Summer of 2013.

Contributed by Ken Fletcher

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

philbertgray
philbertgray on November 6, 2007 at 9:26 am

Photo of the Fox Theatre when it was still the West’s Theatre

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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Some additional information can be found here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 7, 2008 at 8:13 am

Here is a recent photo of the Fox Theater. This side view shows that there should be an aka name of West Theatre.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 15, 2008 at 10:15 am

This is a July 2008 photo.

grneyedbndt
grneyedbndt on January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

we were visiting trinidad,co and decided to watch a movie at the fox.we loved the fact that it was still in operation after all these years.after the movie we got a grand tour from MIKE and it was amazing, going back stage and seeing where it all happend many, many years ago.we took lots of pictures and almost every one of them had a uninvited guest but we loved it.and the fact that it still has a ball room under the theater was the iceing on the cake, thanx mike for a wonderful time sat. 12/17/08 please visit the fox theater if your ever in trinidad,co. you will always remember it. The Barrera family, Hesperia,Ca.

kpdennis
kpdennis on April 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Here’s a couple of views of The Fox (the West Theatre name painted on the side of the building) from Christmas 1996:
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View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Here are two more 1984 photos:

Photo1

Photo2

wildestdreams
wildestdreams on January 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

Hi, I just joined today and I have recent pictures of the interior taken on January 11, 2014. I am on a mission to get the word out that this theater MUST BE SAVED. I implore anyone with connections to entities dedicated to saving treasures such as the West (Fox) Theater please share this photo link with them:
www.facebook.com/pam.colander/media_set?set=a.10152135007519799.1073741827.703679798&type=1 If this link doesn’t work go to Pam Wiebe Colander on Facebook, look under Photos and then the specific album for this theater. Hope you enjoy these new images!

wildestdreams
wildestdreams on January 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

Also, this theater is now closed to the public as of summer 2013.

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