PITTSBURG — More than three years of waiting ended Monday when the Colonial Fox Theatre's restored front entrance was revealed Thursday morning.
The entrance, including the ticket booth and the view of the main lobby, has been obscured throughout that time while detailed restoration takes place, but all was revealed when the plywood cover was rolled away.
“What they’re going to see is how beautifully matched the replication tile is to the 90-year-old tile,” said Vonnie Corsini, executive director of the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation. “In that first four feet from the sidewalk to the front doors they will be seeing an example of what we intend to pursue throughout the lobby, so if they can imagine that style of the decorative paint repeated throughout the lobby.”
Corsini said when the work began, the ticket booth crown was all but destroyed, the tile needed work and many other details needed to be addressed.
“The reason we had it behind plywood was because of our promise to expect excellence,” she said. “When we finally revealed it, people needed to understand by its beauty that we did take the time and we insisted that it be beautiful before we revealed it.”
Casey McCafferty does public relations and marketing for the Fox and said it was important to the foundation to do the project right.
“It’s very important we get the front done with as much of the architectural detail restored as possible,” he said. “Once this is done, we’ll be able to move on to the heating and air, which will stop further deterioration on the inside. We repaired the roof a while ago, but once we get the heat and air in it will further stop the deterioration of the plaster.”
Corsini said this step marks the transition from Phase 5 to Phase 6 on the ongoing project.
“Phase 5 was clearing out and demoing out all the old stuff you can see in side, bringing in new electrical service, putting temporary lighting in the bathrooms and the lobby,” she said. “All of that just takes a lot of time, and of course the capstone was restoration of the beauty of our entrance.”
Phase 6 will then include heat and air throughout the building, as well as stabilizing one of the walls, and Corsini said there is good news for this part of the project.
“We have the total funding for this phase in hand,” she said.
However, the work continues, and Corsini said the foundation now looks forward to creating a master build plan from which future work will proceed.
— Sarah Gooding is a staff writer for The Morning Sun and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org