The Colonial Fox Theatre was once an entertainment beacon in Pittsburg’s downtown landscape. This classic venue served as a cultural gathering place that thrust the Southeast Kansas region into a modern era of entertainment.
Age, neglect, and deterioration were almost the ruin of this area treasure. More than 40 years have passed since the Colonial Fox marquee illuminated a bustling sidewalk to welcome audiences into Pittsburg’s downtown retail district. Since that time, without this rich performance venue, the downtown has been without an economic anchor.
Now is the time to revive the historic Colonial Fox Theatre and to recharge Pittsburg’s downtown district. As the premier art-film screening room and intimate cultural arts center of the region, the theatre will offer the community great entertainment in a great house.
Mission and Vision:
Mission - The mission of the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation is to restore the historic Colonial Fox Theatre to be an enduring dynamic cultural center enriching the quality of life and economic vitality for Pittsburg and surrounding communities.
Vision - The Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation envisions a uniquely beautiful venue featuring local, regional, and national performers, films, and diverse cultural events.The theatre will collaborate with existing arts organizations offering an intimate concert space for our local performances and fine and performing arts workshops for all ages.
In addition to presenting classic, documentary, foreign, and independent films, the theatre will anchor area festivals that celebrate our region’s history, cultural diversity, and our commitment to fulfilling a promising future.
As a community gathering place, the theatre will host civic, cultural, and community organizations.
The historic theatre will be a vibrant partner in the downtown community, nurturing economic growth and providing cultural opportunities that will attract an educated creative workforce.
A GREAT COMMUNITY DESERVES A GREAT DOWNTOWN
Colonial Fox Theatre History at a Glance:
1920 - The Colonial is conceived, owned, and operated by the Pittsburg Amusement Company, which also operates the Mystic and Klock theatres in Pittsburg. Local architects design the building in accordance to styles established in large cities. According to The Pittsburg Daily Headlight, the Colonial Theatre is "constructed along the same lines as the Isis in Kansas City."
1926 – The Colonial undergoes an extensive exterior remodeling and complete interior redecorating.
1930 - The Pittsburg Amusement Company leases the Midland and Colonial to the Fox Kansas Theatre Company.
1942- August fire damages theatre, Muse’s Orange Bowl, and Colonial Hat Works. Colonial Fox closed two months for renovation. Colonial’s bookings transferred to Cozy Theatre. October Pittsburg Headlight announces reopening of theatre.
1983 – The Fox Theatre closes and remains vacant for over 20 years.
2007 – The theatre is purchased by the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation and is accepted to the Register of Historic Kansas Places.
2008 – The Colonial Fox Theatre is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2009 – The theatre receives a new roof and new tuck-pointing on the south wall and west façade, funded by the Kansas Historic Society and the Pritchett Family Trust.
2010 - The Foundation receives United States Department of Interior Save Americas Treasures appropriation.
2011 - The Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation completes north wall repair, mold and asbestos removal, and basement de-watering projects.