Fox Theatre

Norman Chaney adjusts a light during a paint restoration project at the Fox Theatre Wednesday afternoon in Centralia.

The Fox Theatre restoration process has entered its final stages, and the remaining projects are about making the theater beautiful again, said Scott Stolarz, the executive director of the Fox Theatre.

“It’s going to start looking like the Fox Theatre again and less like a construction site,” he said.

Fox Theatre

The stage is lined with construction equipment as work continues on the Fox Theatre restoration project Wednesday afternoon in Centralia.

The most recent project that has been completed is the restoration and painting of the ceiling in the theater. The restoration was done by Evergreene Architectural Arts, a world-renowned, award-winning conservation and restoration company. Two artists working with Evergreene spent the past seven weeks 35 feet up in the air painting the ceiling of the Fox Theatre.

“Evergreene is the best in the business at what they do. They’re a world-wide company and if there’s a theater worth doing they’ve done it and they do amazing work,” said Stolarz.

Evergreene Architectural Arts came into the theater earlier on in the restoration process to collect samples of the original paint so that their work could be as close to the original as possible.

Fox Theatre

Executive Director Scott Stolarz talks about the newly installed ticket booth that is still wrapped in plastic Wednesday afternoon at the Fox Theatre in Centralia.

Construction on the theater was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak for almost two months, but in mid-May, the Fox Theatre restoration crew was able to get to work.

“It’s been challenging to keep things going at the pace we were before COVID, but we’re resilient and we’re always coming up with plans to keep moving forward to get as much done as we possibly can,” said President of the Fox Theatre Scott White. 

The next step in the process is the removal of the false ceiling, which is 7 feet below the actual ceiling and gave the Evergreene artists the ability to restore the paint and decorative plaster on the ceiling.

Fox Theatre

Norman Chaney dabs a paint sponge as he puts the finishing touches on a section of wall at the Fox Theatre during a paint restoration project Wednesday afternoon in Centralia.

“It’s been absolutely great to get back to making progress. Obviously COVID put a hold on the restoration but we’ve been able to get back to making some really great progress, especially on the ceiling. We’ve been super happy to have Evergreene Architectural Arts to help us do that. We’ve been able to make some major strides,” said Stolarz.

White said that Stolarz has brought great energy, ideas and leadership to the project and hiring him to serve as the executive director in April has been a huge step forward for the project.

“The Fox has the ability to be a really special historic theater because we are doing such a thorough restoration. We’ve been able to really modernize it and really keep all of the best things about a historic theater and combine them with the best things about a modern theater,” Stolarz said. “We’re going to have a phenomenal product when we’re done.” 

Fox Theatre

Norman Chaney, left, and Ren Renken work on the finishing touches of the Fox Theatre ceiling paint restoration Wednesday afternoon in Centralia.

White said that now that the final form of the theater is beginning to take shape he would love to be able to give small groups of people a tour of the building. Those interested can reach out via the Fox Theatre Facebook page — www.facebook.com/CentraliaFox.

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