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Morning Sun
  • Colonial Fox hosts antique fair, auction

  • With the first event in decades taking place on the Colonial Fox Theatre stage, organizers wanted to make sure it was a success.

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  • With the first event in decades taking place on the Colonial Fox Theatre stage, organizers wanted to make sure it was a success.
    So what better way for the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation to put its own stake into the project than to put the large letters F-O-X on the auction block? Those giant letters (an extra set that were not planned for use in the future) were just one of the many items up for bid at the inaugural Colonial Fox antique fair.
    Sarah Jensen, foundation public relations and marketing director, said there were some who attended the antique auction just for those letters. Further, she said the idea of an antique fair was a perfect fit for the Colonial Fox.
    “The great thing about this particular event is it’s taking place in an antique. It matches the character of what we’re doing exactly,” Jensen said.
    Rain hampered some of the activities planned in the morning, but as the rain tapered off, the vendors put up their tables for a good afternoon of sales. There were other attractions, such as the appraisals, which drew a strong amount of attention.
    “People were lined up out the door,” Jensen said. “People want to know how much their stuff is worth. Everybody has an artifact or an heirloom. Someone brought in a Mayan artifact.”
    The big event, however, was the auction, with Joel Stewart serving as auctioneer. Although it may not seem like a live band or a dramatic theater performance, it was incredibly significant for the Colonial Fox organizers.
    “That’s the first event we’ve had on stage, the first public event, in at least 28 years,” Jensen said. “Arguably, since we’re using the whole stage, you could say it’s been 80 years. They stopped using it for live performances in the 1930s or 1940s when it became a movie palace.”
    After years of neglect, the foundation is continuing the steps to repair and restore the theater. That said, there was a small contingent of people wearing yellow vests serving to watch out for fires. Given that the building does not have a sprinkler system or even an alarm system at this stage, the half-dozen were there to look out for any problems that might take place, an arrangement that was made with the help of the City of Pittsburg.
    Jensen said the public’s reaction was one of two things. Either they were surprised by how much has yet to be done, or the visitors were surprised by how much work has already been accomplished.
    “Those who didn’t think much has been done weren’t here when the roof was leaking like a sieve or it would pour through like a waterfall onto the stage whenever it rained. They didn’t see the rising water in the basement or the mold hanging from the ceiling,” Jensen said. “That we can have an event in here where it’s dry, and it’s safe to breathe, so people can come in, see it, tour it, and experience an event here, it’s a huge step.”
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