Awards of Excellence:
Fox Theatre

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1949 | Year Saved: ~2019
Historic Designation: Register of Historic Kansas Places
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

 The Fox Theatre, built in 1949, occupies a prominent location in the middle of the 600 block of Commercial Street, the primary commercial thoroughfare in downtown Atchison. The site of the 1949 Fox Theatre illustrates a long association with the motion picture business in Atchison; prior to the nominated theater, the parcel was the location of the Royal Theatre, subsequently known as the Fox Royal Theatre, from circa 1911 to 1947. From 1949 to 2011, the Fox Theatre operated as downtown Atchison’s neighborhood movie theater, serving a significant entertainment and recreation function in the city. The Fox Theatre was listed in the Register of Historic Kansas Places under Criterion A in the area of Entertainment/Recreation as an example of the Movie Theater property type as defined in the Multiple Property Documentation Form “Historic Theaters and Opera Houses of Kansas.”

Without constructing additions or altering the historic character- defining spaces of the property, Theatre Atchison restored and modernized a building that is often a challenge to reuse. They provided modern amenities, state-of-the-art movie technology, and upgraded seating while restoring the historic openness of the theater and maintaining the previous capacity of three theaters. Theatre Atchison restored an important component of the downtown and reopened this important resource to the community.

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