So Sunday night I walked on downtown and watched Blazing Saddles and it was pretty much absolutely fabulous. In the past two films at the Fox I decided to sit on the ground floor, but this time I meandered on up to the balcony. I had some lovely conversations with folks up there, and the big topic that people kept bringing up was the immense importance of maintaining the pristineness of this important Pomona landmark.
Among the several conversations I had with people, one was with an individual who had lived here in Pomona since the 1950s and ze said ze remembers how beautiful it was so many years ago and how it was so sad when it became dilapidated the they thought that they might tear the place down. Ze told me that ze missed how beautiful the old Post Office in the next block over was and how lovely the nearby United Artists Theater was too, both of which were tragically torn down. (Oops, I hear the UA theater is still standing.) Ze mentioned that in the home country they were from that it used to be full of theaters like the Fox, but that they weren’t maintained either, and so now ze said there are none left. Ze was very happy though that the theater had been restored.
Another conversation I had was with someone from Pomona Heritage and they commented to me that they thought that it was terrible that the Fox was already coming apart! Particularly, while we were in the ladies room, ze said how sad it was that there was already graffiti here and there, one of the stall doors was already broken off, and the one of the sofas in there already had a big tear in it.
I have actually not been to concerts at the Fox, only to the film screenings, but from the several people I know who have gone to concerts there, they’ve exclaimed that the Fox can be quite riotous. Beyond the things already mentioned, I myself noticed chipping paint on the floors in a couple of places, too. This venue is clearly one that if we are to truly maintain it as a jewel in our community, it needs a small crew of people who exclusively focus on long-term maintenance.
Given the nature of the venue – that it is a high traffic venue, and given the potentiality of some percentage of people to engage in destructive behavior – to acknowledge the traits of this place and have people always on top of quickly making repairs to maintain the pristineness of the venue is imperative for its long-term survival. I hope that those who take it upon themselves to care for the Fox will be seeking that end.