The mission of Friends of the Oakland Fox (FOOF) is to preserve and sustain the historic Fox Oakland as a live entertainment venue.
FOOF is a non-profit organization that began in 2000 as an advocate for the preservation and restoration of the dilapidated Oakland Fox Theater. It grew out of the Oakland Heritage Alliance, the citywide historic preservation organization. FOOF helped to raise awareness and funding for the restoration, a $91 million project that required complicated public and private funding between the City of Oakland and California Capital Group.
FOOF achieved it’s first goal in February of 2009 when the newly restored theater opened to the public for the first time since 1966. The beautiful venue now features a state-of-the-art theater with flexible capacity from 1,500 to 2,800. The venue also serves as home for the Oakland School of the Arts, as well as an elegant lounge and a soon to open entertainment-themed restaurant.
In the four years since the Oakland Fox Theater has reopened, it has led to a dramatic revitalization of downtown Oakland. Scores of new restaurants, nightclubs, small businesses, and related economic activity has resulted from the arts venue. Hundreds of new downtown residences have been created in close proximity to the theater, and hundreds of permanent new jobs have been created n the urban core as a result of the activity surrounding the arts complex. Furthermore, at a time when the economic recession has damaged the city finances, the Oakland Fox Theater has generated millions of dollars in new revenue for the city.
The theater has also revived Oakland’s image. Oakland was recently named #5 on the New york Times list of best places to visit in the world and the Fox Theater was first on the list of sites not to miss!
The organization is now focused on its second goal, which is to maintain and sustain the preservation work at the theater. This will ensure that the arts complex continues to serve as an important economic engine for Oakland.