Fox Theatres at Woodville Mall
3725 Williston Road,
3725 Williston Road,Northwood, OH 43619
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Grand opening ad posted.
The ruins of this cinema were shot before its demolishment by Nikolaus Geyrhalter for his 2016 documentary film, Homo Sapiens. Screenshots are available here: http://imgur.com/gallery/KW8aN
Launched as the single-screen theatre Fox Theatre on April 16, 1969 at the bustling Woodville Mall. The theatre was twinned and sometimes referred to as the Fox Theatres although the exterior sign retained singular form. Trouble for the Woodville Mall came from competition from newer malls and an Interstate system that challenged some motorists traveling on one side of the highway to easily get to the shopping center.
The video era and population/shopping shift was tough on the Fox and its encompassing mall. The theatre was finally closed in 1992 and one wouldn’t blame anyone if the Fox was down for the count. But it was quickly taken on by J.R. Denniston Circuit. Denniston twinned the twins making it a quad-plex to get more life out of the property. Denniston ran the theater almost continuously much of its life post 1992 (closing briefly in 2009).
The theater’s final months were without gas service. Lacking heat and with the temperature inside the auditoriums at 38 degrees F (46 degrees reported inside the mall – an unofficial record low at that point), a few brave, huddled T-Town area citizens showed up on December 13, 2011 for filmed entertainment. Some ceiling tiles came crashing down in one auditorium attributed to melting snow and previous precipitation; the shivering movie attendees simply moved to a different part of the theater. The show must go on… and did until local officials condemned the theater later that day preventing further shows on December 14th or beyond. On a blustery, grey snowy day, the theatre and mall were razed in March of 2014.
If remembered at all, the Fox should be labeled as a fighter in a league with the Forum 6 Cinema at Arlington, the Nova 6 Cinemas in Moline and many, many others like it. These are the theaters that locals would have contended had gone out of business years earlier but the operators fought on against shifting populations in ghost-town retail strips and shopping centers. We salute you, Fox Theatre(s).