Say Hello to Oakland's Newest Hot Spot

Former mayor to official open Fox Theater

The day is finally here that the famed Fox Theater in Oakland comes back to life.

And who better to open the theater the Oakland's favorite son, Edmund G. Brown Jr., better known as Jerry Brown? Well we could think of a few. But at least they didn't pick Mayor Ron Dellums, who shockingly enough is actually a less popular than Jerry Brown.

But the attorney general will be on hand Thursday to reopen the historic Fox Theater in downtown Oakland. The former movie palace has been shut for the last 30 years but Thursday it will reopen as a concert hall and the new home of the Oakland School for the Arts, a charter school that has instruction in the arts, as well as traditional curriculum.

Brown founded the school in 2002 when he was mayor of Oakland as a way to illuminate a positive aspect of the city and draw new residents, according to Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, the director of institutional advancement at the school.

"To me, it is his greatest legacy," Frazier said. That's why the former governor will be back in town.

The Fox Theater, located at 350 Telegraph Avenue, opened in 1928 and hosted such entertainers as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Ginger Rogers before falling into disrepair in the 1970s. The complex was purchased by the city of Oakland in 1996 and rehabilitated at the cost of $76 million.

Through public and private funding by local foundations and businesses, the arts school was constructed at the cost of $6.9 million and will accommodate about 500 students. The theater used to boast one of the largest stages in the state back in its hey day.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. and the theater will host concerts by the likes of Modest Mouse and Social Distortion within the next week. Follow Our Updates on Twitter!

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