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The Clash

January 11, 2010

Sunday morning, er, Benise?!

The unveiling of the almost-fully renovated Fox Theater, as the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside, is certainly getting lots of attention. And, for good reason. The theater has been sensitively restored to resemble its former glory, with some necessary add-ons befitting a modern performance venue. And yet it rankles. It’s that marquee … somehow that marquee seems, well, off. For me, it’s like Grandmama has had a face-lift, and not content to merely look good, she’s added a pair of Lady Gaga sunglasses for good measure … and, it’s not a good look.

I hate to sound like an old codger railing against change but this marquee is really jarring. It’s so devoid of charm and subtlety, so, um, out of character, that it’s irritating. I mean, I understand why it’s needed … but did it have to be so electronic, and so soul-less? My iPhone picture, taken early Sunday morning, does not come close to showing just how jarring the marquee looks in real-life. In real life it seems too big, too bright, too needy, too ADHD. I’ve heard that it cost an astronomical amount of money, and I guess it’s worth it, but I just wish there could have been a solution to the marquee problem that wasn’t so incongruous with the building itself. SIDE NOTE: After watching the performers, and their head shots, flash by a few times, I had to Google the act known as Benise, shown here. I’d never heard of him, so … I Googled, youtube(d), etc., and have to ask:  is Riverside a bastion of Benise-maniacs who swoon at the thought of the flamenco guitar plucker with the romance novel-ready mane?! How did I miss that this guy existed? Just curious … ANYway, I know the marquee’s here to stay. And, I guess I’ll get used to it eventually, just as I’ve gotten used to tattoo arm ‘sleeves’ for the ladies, guys wearing their pants with the crotch at knee-level, and never watching network TV again, but gee whiz …

OH, and don’t get me started on the offensively generic re-do of the mall area surrounding the Mission Inn! At least the 60s era hardscape that was there before had a point-of-view and an almost whimsical organic-ness about it. This latest iteration says absolutely nothing to me with its blank, corporate face and empty go-nowhere spaces … Why, I remember coming to downtown in the 60s, and …

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 2:38 am

    One good thing about that marquee? Unlike so many ‘upgrades’ on old buildings, it’s reversible. Be at peace, old codger, some things survive. (says a like-minded old codger)

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 13, 2011 2:42 am

      Haha… I’ve kinda made peace with the marquee … and, since that post the Fox has added a vertical lit sign that is period-appropriate which mitigates it.

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