Fox Theater

1116-1128 Main Street,
Stevens Point, WI 54481

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FOX Theatre; Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

The original name of this historic theater is the Grand Opera House. Built by G. F. Andrae between 1893-1894, the vaudeville/stage show theater closed in 1915.

In 1920, it was reopened as the Majestic Theater and in the mid-1920’s it was taken over by J.P. Adler of the Adler Theater Co. who opened the Majestic Roseland (a dance palace) on the second floor. In 1928 the Wisconsin Amusement Co. (now Fox Corp.) took over the operation of the theater and changed its name to the Fox Theater.

Remaining popular for the next six decades, the theater was last operated by Rogers Cinemas. It was kept mostly the same way, but in 1982, a previously added section of the theater was removed. Shortly afterwards, in 1985, the movie house was closed and has never reopened.

A number of groups have tried to find a use for the old Fox Theater, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

Contributed by Ed Wilke

Recent comments (view all 151 comments)

edwilke on October 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm

The mall demo is moving along, I added a picture on my Flicker account. You can finally see the back of the Fox Theater from Center Point Dr.

heritagepubstpt on May 8, 2013 at 5:04 am

The Fox Theater was donated to the Arts Alliance of Portage County on February 1, 2013

edwilke on May 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

From the “Arts Alliance of Portage County” Facebook page, Febuary 2, 2013…

Gerard McKenna, community volunteer and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communication at UWSP, has agreed to serve as the Fox Theatre Steering Committee Chairperson.

“I look forward to being part of the new possibilities this will present to our community”, said Gerard McKenna. The planning for the future of this great Portage County historic and architectural landmark will be a long process which includes addressing the building’s current condition, completing a historic structures report, and securing renovation funding from various sources including grants and private donations.

A fund supporting the Fox Theatre, LLC and its mission to renovate and operate the Fox has been created at the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, 1501 Clark Street, P.O. Box 968, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Donations are being accepted at this time.

edwilke on November 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

The first pictures of the auditorium have been released and printed in the newspaper. This is the first time the public has seen it since it’s closing in 1985. (I’m adding them to the photos on here.)

LouRugani on January 21, 2014 at 3:11 am

January 20, 2014: Members of the Fox on Main committee have preliminary results to a study that found the theater is in better shape than many had originally thought. A structural study of the historic Fox theater on Main Street exceeded expectations of both Fox board president Greg Wright and members of the Minneapolis-based structural engineering firm Meyer Borgman Johnson, who conducted the study. Wright said although the structural study that started in November isn’t completed yet, initial results are that the theater, which closed its doors in 1986, is in better shape than anyone anticipated. “When the structural engineer came here, his initial investigations implied that the building was well taken care of,” Wright said. “The Sanders family … although (the theater) hasn’t been used for over 30 years … did a good job of taking care of the building so that it is not like a building that’s been vacant for 30 years should be.” In August, the title to the theater transferred from the theater’s most recent owners, the Sanders family, which had owned the theater when it closed, to the newly created Fox on Main LLC, giving city leaders and downtown business owners hope that the theater is one step closer to returning to its former glory. Wright said the theater still needs substantial rehabilitation before anything can be done with the building. The Fox group was given $5,000 from the city of Stevens Point in November for the structural study of the over 100-year-old building and has started raising money it plans to use to get the theater open for business. Local photographer John Hartman, who also is a member of the Fox group board, recently put two panoramic photos of the interior of the theater as it exists on display next to the theater entrance in downtown Stevens Point. The photos show the green and red seats and walls that decorate the theater and the current condition of the ceiling and floors. “Chances are, if you are under 40, you’ve never seen the inside of the Fox,” Hartman said. “These photographs are the first views the public has seen in over a quarter century, and hopefully will become part of the storied history of the Fox as this project moves forward.” Wright said the group also is looking into ways to get the community involved as the structural study comes to a close. “We’re in the process of trying to create some community forums both with specific targeted members of the community, like the arts groups in the community, and then some open forums with those who have an interest in giving input,” he said. The group recently adopted an action plan to begin studying how the theater could be used and function as a business. The group also is looking for volunteers and someone interested in becoming a board member as it works toward opening the theater.

edwilke on May 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

A lot of activity in the theater right now, cleaning and painting the doors… If you’re on FaceBook look them up on their page, The Fox On Main – Stevens Point.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2014 at 1:25 am

A list of theaters designed or remodeled by the Milwaukee architectural firm Dick & Bauer that was published in December, 1929, included the Fox Theatre in Stevens Point among their projects.

edwilke on September 29, 2014 at 9:31 am

Something recently put out by The Fox On Main…

edwilke on November 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm

New website for the theater.

rivest266 on January 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

This opened on November 1st, 1920 as Majestic. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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