SPOKANE, Wash. — The iconic Fox Theater in Spokane is celebrating 10 years since it was restored.
The Fox Theater had its grand opening on September 3, 1931. After a period of decline, there was talks to tear it down and replace the structure with a parking lot.
The theater began to face a decline in the 2000's. But the Spokane Symphony was not ready to let that happen. Members fought to keep the walls standing and in 2007, they restored the walls to their original elegance and were ready to fill the seats once again.
“If you make music that comes from the heart, it will be received well,” Spokane Symphony Music Director, Eckart Preu, said. “You don't have to analyze or do anything about it to like it, because it's an emotional thing.”
“I think that the Fox theater changed the way we play and I think it changed the way the audience can listen to us,” Preu said. “You as a musician are only as good as your instrument. And your instrument, if it's a really good instrument, challenges you.”
As the Spokane Symphony members rehearse and perform with their instruments, they sit on a stage rich in history. The Fox Theater once hosted famous names like Sinatra, Crosby and Hepburn.
“Since we've moved here, our playing, the quality, the delicacy and the sound of the orchestra has changed dramatically because we want to fill this hall,”
Juana Cabbage with the Fox Theater agrees that the events within the theater walls have special significance.
“So many Spokane residents have a deep tie to the Fox. Whether it was the first movie that they saw here, whether it was their first concert here,” Cabbage said. “My daughter met the rock star she was named after here at the Fox. I mean, these are special memories that people treasure here, and I think we would have lost that.”
The rock star her daughter met at Fox Theater was Emily Saliers of the Indigo girls.
We live in a digital age where you can pick up any performance you want on YouTube or iTunes, but there is something about being in a concert hall and hearing a live performance that recordings just are not able to match.
“I think that what happens when you sit in a hall with a thousand or two thousand other people and 200 people on stage, that there is some sort of human connection being made that you cannot do digitally,” Preu said. “No matter how good your recording is. If you have the best recording. It cannot replicate what happens, because we are humans. And we connect on different levels.”
Now, Spokane Symphony is set to perform within the theater walls. Symphony members are gearing up for the 2017-2018 season, with performances this Saturday and Sunday of “Opening Night Romance”.
“It goes deeper into our soul. And I think in particular these days we neglect our soul. And I think when we come here we take care of our soul,” Preu said.
If you are interested in buying tickets to any of upcoming shows of the Spokane Symphony, you can do so on their website.