Spokane Symphony honors the donors who kept the Fox Theater alive

Spokane Symphony honors the donors...

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been ten years since the Fox Theater was restored and saved from demolition, and on Friday the Spokane Symphony honored several donors helping to keep programs alive to this day.

One particular donor, a 93-year old woman name Joan Degerstrom, knows the theater better than anyone.

She stood outside the day it first opened in 1931, and on Friday, she stood outside once again for a very special occasion.
It was a September evening in 1931- and as search lights lit up the Spokane skyline, thousands gathered to witness the Fox Theater's grand opening.

“We were standing on the corner by the Chronicle Building, and the whole street was covered with people, they say 20,000,” said Degerstrom.

Somewhere in the crowd, is Degerstrom, only 8 years old at the time.

“It was like a palace. It was gorgeous,” Degerstrom said.

Her memories of the theater are still clear, and 86 years later, Joan is back.

The Spokane Symphony celebrated several generous donors Friday by unveiling nine stars representing $350,000 in donations.

“Orchestras across the country depend on major donors,” said Music Director Eckart Preu.

These funds support symphony operations, and the Fox Theater - which just years ago was slated for demolition, to make room for a parking lot.

“It's just a miracle that the symphony saved this beautiful place,” said Degerstrom.

It's now home to the Spokane Symphony, who purchased the building. It cost $31 million to restore it.

Thanks to the symphony, and generous donors like Joan, the theater is still standing- and outside, Joan's very own star will greet those who come to visit.

The month of November is “Celebrate The Fox” month. They're hosting several public events. You can get more information here.