(Kenneth Morgan/McCook Daily Gazette)
Transformed by a series of improvements which cost in excess of a half million dollars, the theatre and its hard-working team of volunteer supporters are preparing to celebrate.
The festive event -- billed as an open house -- will take place 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
It will be a joyous occasion, with all associated with the project basking in pride about all the magnificent improvements that have been accomplished.
Be ready to be impressed when you take the tour. The everlasting beauty of the original theatrical showplace has been preserved, blending aesthetically and seamlessly with the carefully thought-out enhancements of the 2012 renovation.
Accessible to all
Of all the accomplishments achieved during the Fox Theatre Renovation Project, the one of which the Fox directors and volunteers are most proud is providing handicapped accessibility throughout the facility.
There are now handicapped accessible stalls in both the men's and women's restrooms; there is a handicapped accessible ramp leading to the stage; and there is a handicapped accessible restroom facility on the south side of the Fox's 2,000 square foot stage area.
Now physically handicapped citizens are not only able to attend Fox events, they are able to participate in the events if they choose to do so.
Showing great respect for the vision of A. Barnett, who came up with the idea and financed the theatre construction in 1926 and 1927, the Fox's determined supporters in 2012 saw to it that every dime of renovation money was spent wisely and well.
Four couples deserve a great share of the credit. We, as a community and as a region, owe a great deal to John and Eileen Hubert; Joyce Hershberger and her late husband, Floyd; Lloyd and Elizabeth Benjamin; and Charles and Christina Coleman.
They led the way in making sure that the effort to preserve and improve the town's downtown theatre was accomplished.
These eight devoted leaders not only helped raise more than $500,000, but they also invested tens of thousands of dollars of their own time and money to see that the original theatre vision of a truly "community theatre" was perpetuated for generations to come.
But, in a larger sense, the Fox Theatre Improvement Project of 2012 is a credit to a multitude of other people from McCook and the Golden Plains of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.
The combined effort encompasses all members of the Fox's Board of Directors, who are officially known as Directors of the Alliance for the Encouragement of The Visual and Performing Arts.
In addition, special praise is due the volunteer members of the Fox Theatre's Operations & Events Committee; the members of the McCook City Council; the Southwest Nebraska Community Theater Association; the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival Committee; the McCook Community Concert Association Board and Members; and, most especially, the thousands of fans -- from near and far -- who support Fox Theatre events with their attendance and their contributions of money and praise.