KTTU "In Focus," 10:30 AM, 1/9/11, KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 1/16/11, 7:30 AMPosted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter
Host Bob Lee interviews Craig Sumberg, Executive Director, Fox Theatre Foundation. The refurbished Fox Tucson Theatre reopened to the public New Year’s Eve, 2005. It has struggled financially since then.
Sumberg says there have been a number of challenges. Included is the perception that there’s “no parking” downtown and that it’s “not safe at night” downtown. He says both of these perceptions are wrong…there’s 5,000 parking spaces downtown and the streets are quite safe at night. He says operational costs have also been high and he has significantly reduced them since taking over as ED last July. He says there were 112 movies and events at the facility in 2010. His goal is to increase that number to 130-140 per year.
Sumberg says the Foundation is still grappling with the 1.5-million dollar payment due to Rio Nuevo toward the $5.5-million owed in restoration costs. He says the Foundation is “working with” the Rio Nuevo Board in resolving this prior to the Sept. 1 due date.
Sumberg says 2nd Saturdays Downtown has exposed many more Tucson residents to the restored Theatre than anything previously. He says the Fox offers free music during this event and up to 1,000 people come through the doors. He says the Fox focuses on an “older demographic” for most of its events. He says the Theatre is available for private bookings, as well.