Hurricane’s new performing arts venue is the town’s best kept secret

The Fox Theatre is one of the newest performing arts venues in Southern Utah, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 23, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Fox Theatre, St. George News

HURRICANE — Although it is slowly becoming a big hit with locals, the owners of the Fox Theatre on State Street are trying to find a way to connect with a larger audience four months after it opened its doors.

The Fox Theatre is one of the newest performing arts venues in Southern Utah, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 23, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Fox Theatre, St. George News

The theater, located in Hurricane, is one of the newest commercial additions to the city. The plans, said theater owner Glenn Fox, was to host an eclectic mix of performance art including dinner theaters, comedians, puppet shows, concerts and other live performances.

The 100 to 150 seat open floor plan theater began its life on Oct. 24 as a haunted house. Currently, Fox is working on hosting a dinner theater for Christmas titled,”Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”

“We are trying to find a way to fill a niche in the performance society of Southern Utah,” Fox said. “We know there are a lot of other performance venues already, but we also know that we can provide something that isn’t already being filled.”

The spectacle of large production shows at Tuacahn Center for the Arts and the Dixie Center are great, Fox added, but you lose the intimacy found at smaller venues.

“The farthest seat back in our auditorium is maybe 50 feet,” Fox said.

The first performance at the Fox Theatre in Hurricane was a six-day-long haunted house. Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 1, 2019 | Photo courtesy The Fox Theatre Facebook page

The Fox Theatre is also becoming a place for local bands to showcase their music.

“As soon as we opened, we started getting the word out and since then we’ve had bands knocking down our door trying to get a slot to play,” Fox said.

Originally from Sacramento, Fox was a bit of a nomad traveling around the county to teach technical theater.

“One day, I saw that the historic Cedar City theater was for sale,” Fox said. “I thought it would be a great performance venue, but CrossFit gym got to the building first. I was kind of heartbroken, but at the same time, I knew there had to be someplace else that was available.”

Fox found that special place. In 2018, he moved to Hurricane and began his labor of love to open the theater at 320 W. State St.

Fox said it is an ideal location.

“It’s a place that is growing like crazy, and it’s a place that has a couple of million tourists coming through every year. Yet somehow, there is no nightlife,” he added. “We haven’t figured how to tap into the tourists crowd yet, but a lot of the locals sure seem grateful that we are here. There is a vacuum here and I figured if I didn’t get on it someone else was going to.”

Long-term plans include purchasing the building, establishing a non-profit and establishing a theater group that would perform regularly.

Hurricane Mayor John Bramall is excited to see his town, with an estimated population of slightly more than 18,000, add new businesses.

“We are happy to have any new business in our town and we are happy to have a new arts venue,” Bramall said. “Our community theater does some performances, but this will add another dimension to our town’s arts community.”

When Fox does dial into the tourist dollars, Bramall said, it will add to the local economy.

“You always hope every business is effective and is successful,” Bramall added. “I hope the new owners are successful in what they are trying to do there.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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