Time to “Rethink” The Fox


Ever since the City of  Fullerton climbed aboard the “Save the Fox” bandwagon, something was just plain wrong.  Somehow the redevelopment bureaucrats inculcated into the public mindset the story that the only way the Fox could be “saved” was by appending it to another massive downtown housing project. To facilitate the latter the city had to relocate a fast food franchise; to accomplish that they had to buy up property on Pomona Ave. at exorbitant prices.

And so the initial make work myth has created a cascade of expensive, almost comical decisions by the city council.

Why was the linkage between the Fox and a new project a quote “myth”? Let’s apply some common sense to the issue. It was assumed (correctly) that the theater was going to require massive subsidy to restore and to operate; but somehow the city believed this loss could be rolled into a larger, profitable project by some private developer, or to be more precise, the city staff believed they could sell this bag of magic beans to the public. Three city council members (Don Bankhead, Pam Keller and Sharon Quirk) are still waiting for the beanstalk to grow.

magic beans, only in Fullerton
magic beans only grow in Fullerton

There is no logical connection between restoring the Fox and the development of any new project! The fact is that whoever developed this “project” will receive massive subsidies from the Redevelopment Agency which will cover the cost of the Fox, developers do not do anything for free.

And so why doesn’t the city at least be honest: come out and acknowledge the cost of restoring and operating the Fox-and if it is deemed a worthy municipal value grant the money directly to saving the Fox. Or better yet why not let the people vote on weather or not to create a permanent Fox restoration and operations budget? Honesty and transparency. Two other civic values.

Don Bankhead Fox Theatre Pam Keller Redevelopment Sharon Quirk

7 thoughts on “Time to “Rethink” The Fox

  1. Saving the Fox was a community miracle that I never thought I’d live to see. Credit Jane Reifer & her starry-eyed band of Fox Savers. More power to ’em!

    But now this whole block has mutated into something far beyond saving one old theater. It’s become a boondoggle. A buck-seeking developer has climbed into bed with RDA staff to Create the Fox Block!

    The Fox isn’t a block, it’s a theater. And why should $6 million in Fox money go to a McDonald’s!

    It’s like they took a modest preservationist project and said “let’s super-size it!” Citizens should launch a Big Mac Attack against this giveaway.

    Even normally staff-compliant Dick Jones can smell this turkey!

  2. College Park Codger, I agree with you 100%. Something is smelling real bad right now and it isn’t a Jack taco it’s more like a super-size fillet-o-fish crossed with a heart-attack Big-mac…I bet you anything admin, both Sharon & Pam grew up on McD’s.

  3. It’s not Terry O. that concerns me, but Terry G.

    How many “deals” did he make out there that this council feels obliged to rubber-stamp?

  4. Maybe so, Terry O., but Jones looks like he’s packed away a few happy meals himself, but he is still opoosed to this super-sized squander.

  5. repeat after me: The Fox Village redevelopment scheme DOES NOT PAY FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE FOX THEATER. “Save the Fox” would still need to raise tens of millions of dollars to complete the restoration.

  6. Friends, Citizens, Fullertonians,

    Lend me your ears;

    I come to not to bury Fox Theater, nor to praise it.
    What good Fullerton Consuls can do tomorrow will live long after them;
    But their apathetic evil may be interred with bones of a Six Million Burger; gather ’round to hear this sad tale.
    So let it be with The noble FFFF Administrator
    He hath told you Fox Village was too ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous Redevelopment fault,
    And grievously hath Fox’s friends not answer’d it.
    Here, under leave of Consuls Bankhead, Quirk, Keller and Jane Reifer’s starry-eyed band of Fox Savers.
    For these Councilpersons and preservationists are honourable;
    So too are the Fox savers all, all honourable–
    Come I urge all Fullertonians tomorrow to speak at Fox Village’s funeral, City Council Chambers.
    While not my friends, Fox Theater’s followers were faithful and just to Fullerton:
    But noble FFFF Administrator says Fox Village was too ambitious;
    And FFFF Administrator is an honourable man.
    He hath brought many honors home to West Truslow
    Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
    Did FFFF Administrator’s own deeds in Fullerton seem ambitious?
    When that poor deceived citizens have cried, FFFF Administrator hath wept, too:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet FFFF Administrator says Fox Village was ambitious;
    And FFFF Administrator is an honourable man.
    You all did see that on the FFFF web page
    He has spurned a kingly Council crown,
    Which he did repeatedly refuse: was this ambition?
    Yet FFFF Admninstratior says Fox Village was ambitious;
    And, sure, he is an honourable man.
    I speak not to disprove what FFFF Administrator spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did once love McDonald’s fries, not without cause:
    But what cause withholds us then, to mourn for a Six Million Dollar Burger?
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And three Consuls who had before lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the future coffin which contains Fox Village,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.

    First Citizen (College Park Codger)

    Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

    Second Citizen (Terry O))

    If thou consider rightly of the matter, Fox Village
    has caused us Fullertonians great wrong.

    Third Citizen (Sage of Skyline)

    Has it, masters? I fear there may become an even worse project in its place.

    Fourth Citizen (Enabler)

    Mark’d ye FFFF Administrator words? He would not take the Council crown; Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious. Kill the Six Million Dollar Burger! Kill it!

    First Citizen

    If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

    Second Citizen

    Poor Enablerl! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

    Third Citizen

    And there’s not a nobler man in Fullerton than AnTony.

    Fourth Citizen

    Now mark him, AnTony, he begins to speak.


    But yesteryear the words of Redevelopment
    Sneered against the Fullerton world; but now lies Fox Village bared to the world.
    And no citizen should no more do it nor them reverence.
    O Fullerton citizens, if I were disposed to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
    I should do you wrong, and Councilpersons wrong,
    Who, you all know, are honourable men and women:
    I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
    To wrong the soon-to-be-dead Six Million Dollar Burger, to wrong myself and it,
    Than I will wrong such honourable men and women.
    But here’s a parchment with the seal of Redevelopment;
    I found it in Consul’s closet, ’tis Redevelopment’s will:
    Let but the Fullerton commoners hear this testament–
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
    And they would go and kiss soon-to-be dead Fox Village’s wounds
    And dip their napkins in its sacred blood,
    Yea, beg a McDonald’s Corporation for money,
    And many chunky children, sadly dying, mention it within their wills, this Six Million Dollar Burger
    Bequeathing to Fullerton as a sad legacy
    Unto their issue.

    Fourth Citizen

    We’ll hear the will: read it, Mark AnTony.


    The will, the will! we will hear the soon-to-be dead Fox Village’s will.


    Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
    It is nice, you know, how friends of Fox Village once loved you Fullertonians.
    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men and women;
    And, being men and women, hearing the Redevelopment will of Fox Village,
    It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
    ‘Tis good you know not that you are Fox Village’s payers;
    For, if you should, O, what would come of it!

    Fourth Citizen

    Read the Redevelopment will; we’ll hear it, AnTony;
    You shall read us the will, the Redevelopment Fox Village will.


    Will you be patient? will you stay awhile? I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it:
    I fear I wrong the honourable Consul man and women
    Whose three daggers have not yet stabb’d Fox Village; I do fear them.

    Fourth Citizen

    They were traitors: honourable Consuls!


    The will! the Redevelopment Fox Village testament!

    Second Citizen

    They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.


    You will compel me, then, to read the Redevelopment Fox Village will?
    Then make a ring about the corpse of Fox Village,
    And let me show you what folly Redevelopment made of its will.
    Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?

    Several Citizens

    Come down.

    Second Citizen


    Third Citizen

    You shall have leave.

    AnTony comes down

    Fourth Citizen

    A ring; stand round.

    First Citizen

    Stand from the Fox Village plan, stand from the corpse.

    Second Citizen

    Room for AnTony, most noble AnTony.


    Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.

    Several Citizens

    Stand back; room; bear back.


    f you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
    You all do know this story: I remember
    Last time ever Fox Theater Village was finally put out;
    ‘Twas on a summer’s evening, in Consul chambers,
    That day, July 7, 2009, when Six Million Dollar Burger Fell to Fullerton City Consul’s wrecker balli:
    Look, in this place ran Bankhead’s dagger through:
    See what a rent the envious Keller made:
    Through this the well-beloved Quirk stabb’d;
    And as they pluck’d their cursed Six Million Dollar Burger, the other two Consuls smiled away,
    Mark how the blood of Fox Village follow’d it,
    As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
    If Nelson or Jones so unkindly knock’d, or no;
    For there were former errant three Consuls, as you know, who were once Fox Village’s angels:
    Judge, O you gods, how dearly Fox Village was once loved by them!
    This was the most unkindest cut of all;
    For when friends of noble Fox Theater saw them stab,
    Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
    Quite vanquish’d it then burst their mighty once preservationist hearts; to rid Fullerton of a Six Million Dollar Burger!
    And, in Fox Theater’s street corner muffling up its face,
    Even at the base of downtown Fullerton,
    Which all the while ran blood, the great Fox Village fell.
    O, what a fall was there, my Fullerton countrymen!
    Then I, and you, and all of us stood up tall!
    Whilst bloody treason no longer flourish’d over us.
    O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
    The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
    Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
    Our Fox Village’s Redevelopment fascia wounded? Look you here,
    Here is Fox Theater, marr’d, as you see, with traitors.

    First Citizen

    O piteous spectacle!

    Second Citizen

    O noble Fox Village!

    Third Citizen

    O woeful day!

  7. enabler, your literary aspirations are easier to read when I hum the theme song to gilligan’s Island.

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