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Green Room Newsletter




Selection of Architects for the Master Build Plan

The Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation is excited to announce the selection of GastingerWalker& as our architects for the master build plan. The decision was made by the board of trustees in July after interviewing four outstanding firms.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Thanks to a 2015 gift of $250,466.40 from a Secret Santa, our $500,000 match of the Save America’s Treasures grant was secured. With a 2016 Valentine gift of $250,000 and a 2016 Holiday Challenge gift of $150,000, our Phase VI projects were fully funded. Phase VI projects include installation of Heat and Air Conditioning, structural support of the proscenium arch and wall, restoration of the bathrooms in the historic lobby, creation of an additional emergency exit and installation of a life safety sprinkling system.

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A New Kind of Revival

Roots Revival! The name has a nice ring doesn’t it? This concert was previously named “Bluegrass, Brew, BBQ & You,”
which was a mouthful to say. Despite the name change, ticket holders experienced the excellence of previous years, be it
the delicious BBQ catered by Corner Bistro or the garden ambiance made possible by “In the Garden”.

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Craftsmanship from the North Prarie

Replication of the historic tile gracing our entrance has been fraught with frustration. After working for over a year with a manufacturer who was not up to the task, the Foundation approached North Prairie Tileworks in Minnesota. Roger Mayland and his staff are careful about the jobs they accept. “We are very selective,” commented Mayfield. “We may take one project a month. It takes a lot of expertise in order to do a project like this and we only take the projects that we feel we can match and where we can have a positive impact.”

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Curtains Open Again!

With construction still progressing, one may assume by simply glancing at the facadethat there isn’t much activity inside. As a result of the ongoing construction, the wooden blocked entrance may lead to the impression that our doors areclosed. The fact is, we are still very lively.

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Volume 7 Issue 3

Its All in the Details

This past year we’ve seen some pretty big changes take place in the Theatre. What you may not have noticed is the detailed work happening in the background.

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Volume 7 Issue 3

Entry Glass Installed

Although it took a few tries and several hours in the hot sun, we’re one step closer to completing our entrance. Commercial Glass and
Metal workers toiled long and hard on August 29 to put in our new entryway glass.

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CFTF Newsletter

Presentation is Everything!

John Harrison knows plants! With that knowledge he turned the
spacious tents, which were generously donated by Jake’s Fireworks, into an elegant venue.

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Until we meet again!

You’ve never seen the Colonial Fox like this before! On March 28 the Fox marquee came down, revealing the historic Colonial archway. Not since the 1920’s has the archway been completely visible on Broadway.

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What's Poppin' inside the Colonial Fox?

The Colonial Fox is under construction again! Or, shall we say “deconstruction!” Here is a sampling of the many Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning demolition pictures that can be found on our home page (colonialfox.org) under Progress Updates.

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Newsletter volume 6 issue 3

Bluegrass, BBQ, Brew & You!

Once again the Colonial Fox brings a crowd to Broadway, this time to host our Bluegrass, Brew, BBQ & You event. During the event the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation held their annual meeting where members ratified the board of trustees and voted to approve the financial report of 2011.

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CFTF Newsletter v6i2 Volunteers Rock!

Never mind the luck of the Irish, how about the luck of the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation to have such amazing volunteers! To honor and reward our 2011 volunteers, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and the theatre's 92nd birthday . . .

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Volume 6 issue 1

A Vibrant Heart of the City

 “A great community deserves a great downtown!” Let us be more specific.  The Colonial Fox Theatre is the key to a great downtown. The Colonial Fox will offer fresh and compelling programming in a classic venue which will draw patrons into the downtown district.

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version 5 issue 4

Dry as a Bone

Construction professionals are amazing.  No matter how daunting the task, they have a can-do attitude. If you don’t believe it, just check out our day-to-day pictorial updates at www.colonialfox.org where we document the basement project progress.  What those pictures do not adequately represent is the monumental task of removing the excavation debris from the drainage trenches. 

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Teamwork is the Name of the Game

When the architect asked me, “Do you want the contractor to repaint the movie screen mural or will you do that with volunteers?” I winched. Sure, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I knew that when we repaird the north wall the movie screen mural would need to be repainted.  Still, when reality struck I just thought, “Oh brother, how are we going to recreate that mural?”

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Fresh Air and Stretched Budgets

April 28, 2011, marked a milestone for the theatre: the completion of the mold and asbestos abatement. What a great day! Although clean air is a micro step in terms of the entire project, let’s celebrate even our most modest successes. The crews of Gerken Environmental Enterprise and ACM Removal completed the work in just over 6 days. Of course, we still have a west basement that only a mother could love – BUT, the pipes, joists, and beams are mold and asbestos free.

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Securing the Envelope

We realize how eager everyone is to SEE something happening. Removing asbestos, dewatering basements, repairing failing concrete beams – that’s just NOT ROMANTIC! And worse – it’s downright invisible to the public. Still, here we are up to our eyeballs in the most important part of this restoration – securing the envelope. The flexibility of the National Parks Service (NPS) will allow our 2010 Heritage Trust Fund grant money to be a partial match for the Save America’s Treasures fund.

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Love Shack

Many of you have shared your fond memories of the Colonial Fox Theatre by writing or emailing them to us. Our Grand Lady has been a place to love over the years and also a place to find love. Several relationships have blossomed under her watchful eyes. Some couples merely shared a first kiss while other went on to be married. In 1962, one pair of PSU students came to see “The Sky Above, The Mud Below” on their first date.

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The Up High and Down Low of it All

Although you cannot see it from the street, the Colonial Fox Theatre has undergone some significant changes in the last two years - moving her closer to the final goal of restoration. The condition of the roof was shocking. We had to replace many more rotten joists than we anticipated. In fact, probably the only thing that kept the old fan house from falling 30 feet onto the historic theatre seats below was the six inch accumulation of tar paper and asphalt.

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The Challenge

In just three months, we are one- third of the way to meeting the Pritchett Trust’s $30,000 challenge grant. For those of you who have become an annual member, we thank you. We cannot stop here! Help us reach our goal of 1000 members by joining today. The total match we need in 2009 is $55,000. Annual memberships provide the money necessary for challenge grants and state and federal matching grants.

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Festival Celebrates Arts & Film

Two big movies at two successful events have given the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation something to applaud. The Foundation hosted its first Festival on Broadway, on September 12. The festivities were moved from the parking lot outside the Grand Old Lady to the old National Guard Armory due to rainy weather but the rain didn’t keep members of the community away.

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A New Hat for the Grand Old Lady

Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation was recently awarded a $90,000 Heritage Trust Fund Grant that will help give the grand old lady a brand new hat. The Kansas State Historical Society selected twenty-two projects in Kansas out of sixty-five eligible applicants to receive grants this year. Of the more than $1.2 million in grant monies awarded in 2008, only five received the $90,000 maximum. “It’s so highly competitive,” CFTF president Vonnie Corsini said in a Morning Sun article.

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Grand She Was, Grand She Will Again Be

She has taken two gracious steps — one into the past and one toward the future — as both the State and National Registries of Historic Places have granted our Colonial Fox Theatre the honor of being included in their rolls of places worthy of preservation. Many, many people have worked to attain this honor for our Grande Dame but holding her hand the tightest was Dr. Joel Rhodes, Pittsburg native, Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation trustee, and associate professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.

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Foundation Reaches Major Goal

In less than a year, saving the Colonial Fox Theatre from continuing to sit vacant or being destroyed has gone from a simple idea to becoming even more of a reality. The Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation (CFTF), with its 400 for $40K fundraising campaign, announced on November 30, that it had reached its goal to purchase the building from Marsha Besse, thus making it the property of the CFTF.

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Little Balkans Day

On Saturday, September 1, 2007, the Colonial Fox Theatre celebrated Little Balkans Days with tours of the theatre every 30 minutes. Over 600 people waited in line to see the progress the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation has made on the restoration. A video presentation was set up on the stage and a musician played just inside the lobby. Bill Sollner presented one of his Pied Piper Puppet shows at the entrance of the theatre.

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The Lights Return to Broadway

When the Colonial Fox Theatre reopens its doors, it will provide a venue for professionals and amateurs alike, and will feature theatrical performances, music concerts, and a variety of independent/classic films. The theatre will house a cafe and educational and corporate meeting space. Our plans for future programming include becoming host to art exhibits, film and music festivals and extended performing art workshops.

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The Race to Revive the Colonial Fox Theatre Is Now!

The Colonial Fox theatre is at a critical point in its history. For generations, it has been a community gathering place as well as a showcase for live performances and film. Sadly, for the past years, it has sat as a lifeless shell in the downtown core of Pittsburg. Built just prior to the height of the traditional movie palace years (1925- 1930), the Colonial Fox is Pittsburg's only remaining theatre from this era.

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