157 Park Central Square,
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Located in downtown Springfield and opened in 1916. It was originally known as the Electric Theatre with 1,800 seats and was designed by the Boller Bros. architectural firm. Interior decorations were by Kansas City based interior decorator G.T. Noel in a Renaissance style and local Springfield artist Oliver J. Corbett provided decorative paintings. Vaudeville acts were booked through the Pantages circuit and suplemented the movie program. The Electric Theatre was taken over by Paramount Pictures Inc. in 1930 and renamed Paramount Theatre. They sold it to Fox Theatres in 1934 and it reverted back to the Electric Theatre name. In early-December 1942 the Electric Theatre was badly damaged by a fire. It took several years to renovate and it reopened as the Fox Theatre on June 23, 1949 with Hedy Lamarr in “Let’s Live a Little”. It closed in 1982 and afterward became home to a church who moved out in 2014.
By 2017 the Fox Theatre is owned by the History Museum on the Square. As the museum expands, the Fox Theatre will continue to be an integral part of this development. Currently, the Fox Theatre is used for a variety of purposes including displaying exhibits, hosting concerts and lectures, and serving as an event rental space.
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