PORTFOLIO
The Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox
Originally designed by Robert Reamer in 1931 for Fox Studios as an exuberant art-deco movie palace with interior murals by Anthony Heinsbergen, the theatre was purchased by the Spokane Symphony in 1999. Feasibility studies were undertaken by a team of architect and consultants (including us) and it was determined that the Fox Theatre should be renovated to meet the following criteria:

1. As the home of the Spokane Symphony, the acoustics must be excellent. This meant that the large under balcony area should be remediated. The resulting scheme involved the insertion of a new wall and control booth at the rear orchestra area and the remaining under balcony area leveled with the lobby and made into a new founder’s gallery with display wall.

2. The theater should function as a middle-capacity road house, filling a gap in the Spokane inventory of venues. The income from rentals and presentations would help off-set building operations costs. This meant that either a new stage house or a renovated stage house with counterweight rigging, dimming and easily removable orchestra shell would be required. New accessible stage lighting positions were created in the house ceiling, complete with circuits wired to dimmers. Strong points as well as “dry-lines” for the transmission of power and data to equipment on road-show trusses was also provided.

3. It was determined that the stage would be renovated and that in order to get the stage foot-print to the desired size pit filler-platforms would be used to extend the stage over the expanded pit. This necessitated the over-build of the balcony to achieve optimal vertical sight lines.

4. The new seating-plan incorporates many ADA wheel-positions, each with companion seats, and seats that allow for transfer. The design of the reproduction historic chairs uses new cast-aluminum aisle ends that were taken from a mold of one of the standards found in the theater.

Services:

Theater planning, theater equipment and design and architectural lighting design, including refurbishment specifi cations for existing historic lighting fixtures.