Hutchinson Developer and Merchant Vernon Wiley Dreams of Opening the Grandest Place in Hutchinson

June 8th 1931

The Theatre Opens it doors! "The Southwest's most beautiful theatre"


Elisa Landi Stars in the first Movie at the Fox "Always Good Bye"

June 8th 1931

The Theatre Opens it doors! "The Southwest's most beautiful theatre"

April 14 1988

Landmark board backs Fox Rescue and shortly after renovation begins!

June 8th 1931

The Theatre Opens it doors! "The Southwest's most beautiful theatre"


HUTCHINSON'S HISTORIC FOX THEATRE opened on June 8, 1931 and was designed by the Boller Brothers who were well known for constructing grand “movie palaces”.  The Fox is considered one of the finest examples of theatre art deco architecture in the Central United States.  It draws its distinction as an art deco building through its stepped treatments and projecting pilasters, which emphasize the building’s geometric form.  The pressed aluminum and metallic glazed terra cotta floral, vegetal, and geometric reliefs, door moldings, capitals and bases, stair railings, light fixtures, cartouches, friezes, and other decorative features found in the building are all hallmarks of the art deco style.

The Fox has many distinctions:

• The Fox was named the “STATE MOVIE PALACE OF KANSAS” by the State Legislature in 1994.

• The Fox marquee was the first flashing display of neon in Kansas and is one of only several surviving, functioning, original marquees in the country.

• Two films held their premieres at the Fox with the cast appearing at the event: “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines Nellie (1952) and “Picnic” (1955).

• The Fox is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the State Register, and is considered a local landmark.

• The theatre seats 1,221, has no obstructed sightlines and excellent acoustics.

• In 2004, the Theatre Historical Society of America selected the Fox as the premiere theatre of choice to tour.  From their national conference in Kansas City, the group traveled by bus to tour the Fox, some coming as far away as England and Australia.

• In 2008 the Fox Theatre was awarded the Bisonte Historic Preservation Award and was named one of the 8 Wonders of Reno County.

• The Fox was one of the founding members of the Kansas Historic Theatre Association (KHTA).  KHTA is one of the most active historic theatre preservation organizations in the country.

• The Fox has a Season Subscription Series, the Fox Film Series, and a "By the Bus" educational program.  It is home to the Hutchinson Symphony, Hutchinson Theatre Guild, Phyl's Studio of Voice, Salt Minors, ArtisTree, and Sweet Adelines.

• The theatre closed in 1985 and stood empty until 1990 when Hutchinson’s Historic Theatre, Inc., a non-profit corporation purchased it.  After undergoing a $4.5 million restoration, the Fox re-opened in 1999.  This began a new era that presented world-class artists and performers such as Art Garfunkel, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jeff Foxworthy, Jeff Dunham, Mark Russell, Doc Severinsen, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Linda Ronstadt, Brian Regan, Tommy Emmanuel, and many more.

• The Fox celebrated its 75th Diamond Jubilee anniversary in 2006 with a Gala featuring Linda Ronstadt.  The first movie ever shown at the Fox “Always Good-Bye” starring Alyssa Landi was also featured.

Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation governed by a Board of Directors.  It employs three full-time staff, six part-time and approximately 85 volunteers.  The technical crew members are “on-call” for events that require extra stagehands.

Thank you for all the work, dedication, and commitment to all that give of their time, talent, and support that makes the Fox a regional center for the arts.

• The Fox Theatre is a proud member of the Hutchinson Rotary Club, the Kansas Historic Theatre Association, the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, League of Historic American Theatres, and Plains Presenters.


Education has been an important part of the FOX's mission since its grand reopening more than 22 years ago.  Tens of thousands of students from Hutchinson and throughout Reno County have traveled to the FOX by the bus to take part in our highly anticipated "Informances" and workshops. Aside from the cost of transportation, there is NO OTHER EXPENSE to the schools for participation in our "By The Bus" arts-in-education opportunities.  That is made possible in large part because of the generous underwriting support we receive from the Herman, Esther and Henry Stallman Foundation.


Josh Davies
Executive & Technical Director
Penny Bettles
Development Administrator
Jan Nelson
Business Manager
Barbara Luman
Box Office Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
Carolyn Wicks
Box Office Agent
Damien Page
Kitty Keazer
Artist Hospitality
Andrea Ewert
Box Office Support
Jan Rudicel
Box Office Support & Docent
Chris Schmidt
Box Office Support
Andrea Schoenecker
Box Office Support
Blake Luman
Lighting Designer & Projectionist