Fox Theater, facade detail (DHP photo)
Fox Theater, auditorium (DHP photo)
1116-1128 Main Street, Stevens Point, Portage County
Architect: Oscar Cobb
Date of construction: 1894
Constructed in 1894 as the Grand Opera House, for many years this building was the focus of many theatrical and community events, hosting public speeches, local charity and civic theater events, and productions by traveling dramatic companies. Notable among the gatherings were speeches by Eugene Debs and William Jennings Bryant.
G.F. Andrae, one of Stevens Point's leading merchants, commissioned theater architect Oscar Cobb to design the Romanesque Style building. With the exception of its taller and more highly ornamented central section, the building reflects the scale of other commercial buildings on its block. Faced with pressed brick, the building is capped with pressed metal cornices and has cast iron brackets at the outer edges of the building. Typical of theater designs of the period, the entrance to the auditorium is at the center of the building with a small commercial space located on each side. The current Fox Theater marquee was added when the interior was extensively remodeled in the 1940s. However, the original ceiling with its classically inspired oval medallion remains in the auditorium.