The Fox Theatre: Entertainment destination in southwest Nebraska

The Fox Theatre building is 96 years old
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:17 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:32 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The building known as the “Fox Theatre” opened its doors in McCook to Vaudeville acts in the 1920′s. Today, the theater is used for a variety of events.

We visited with theater manager Charles Coleman about this McCook landmark.

“The theater was started in 1926 by Albert Barnett, who was a notable businessman here in McCook,” Coleman said. “In January of 1927, it opened. It was basically a Vaudeville theater, and had shows on the weekends and Sundays, but very soon it became a movie theater. It was part of the World Theater chain of Nebraska. Then, not too long after that, it became leased or owned by the Rocky Mountain Theater Corporation, which then leased it to the Fox Corporation, and that’s how it became the Fox Theatre.”

The theater has been used for live acts early on, then movies.

“Ray Search was one of the guiding characters that worked with the Fox Corporation and managed this theater for many years. This carried through up until the 1970′s, when my wife’s parents John and Eileen Hubert purchased the building, and ran the theater. They ran it until it ceased to show movies in the 1990′s. At that point, we decided it needed to move in a different direction, and get it into live performances. Action was taken to put it in a more favorable venue for that. That’s basically what we do now. We can still do movies, but we can do live performances, community theater uses it, it’s a great concert hall, and we’ve had a number of state meetings here.”

The theater is available for rent.

“We have a number of organizations that use it,” Coleman said. “We had a wonderful fundraiser here a few years ago, where two ladies from Bartley worked to raise money for childhood cancer. It’s nice when we can do things that help people.”

The next time you visit downtown McCook, you might want to check out the Fox Theatre.